Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Damming the Mainstream Media

Alberto Gonzalez, Monica Goodling and others of the Bush Brigade who worked so hard to subvert American freedoms are gone, but their mission is moving forward. After chipping away at our legal rights, next on the agenda is control of our minds through mass media.

A House Committee will turn the spotlight today on FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin, who has been busy trying to concentrate ownership more than ever before into the hands of Rupert Murdoch and a few other corporate chieftains.

Like all loyal Bushies, Martin has not let legal niceties get in his way.

Citing "complaints from the public and professionals within the communications industry," Rep. Bart Stupak, who heads the Energy and Commerce subcommittee that is investigating the FCC head, says, "It is one thing to be an aggressive leader, but many of the allegations indicate possible abuse of power and an attempt to intentionally keep fellow commissioners in the dark."

Martin and other FCC members will testify about his efforts to bulldoze through the easing of rules limiting cross-ownership of newspapers and TV stations in the same city as well as "cooking the books" to push through regulations to crack down on cable TV which, outside of Fix News, has not been as servile as the Administration would like.

To do so, Martin has used what media watchdogs call "a rigged process" designed to produce a "predetermined outcome."

The FCC chairman came to his position of overseeing free speech in America at the age of 33 with no communications experience whatsoever after working on the legal team that blocked the 2000 Florida vote recount to put Bush in the White House.

In 1961, President Kennedy's FCC chairman, Newt Minow, famously called commercial TV a "vast wasteland" and worked to expand its range of content by enabling UHF stations and public television.

His 2007 counterpart is less interested in what's on than who controls it. "America Idol" and reality shows are high art as long as the right people profit and keep the medium from sending the wrong political message.

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