Sunday, December 16, 2007

Kevin Martin and the FCC

Some of you might be aware that the FCC (actually the Republican majority on the FCC) is moving bullheadedly towards changing ownership rules to allow newspapers to own broadcast media. I believe the actual day is this Tues. Let me tell you, nothing raised my ire like seeing Chairman Martin sit there before a Congressional committee and brazenly stand for the media conglomerates in the face of overwhelming public opposition and outcry. See Bill Moyers Journal (must see tv I) this week.

I mean, there isn't even a pretense of acting on behalf of the People by this guy. Its so blatantly kowtowing to the corporations, right in the face of all those people who were suckered into thinking public hearings meant something. His decision was made up months in advance. The public hearings were window dressing, nothing more.

It reminded me of the city council meeting where overwhelming public testimony opposing the Witham Oaks development was dismissed wholesale, even by two Green party members. Something tells me the same thing will happen with the BLM and the decision to allow for more old growth logging. I'm sure its the same thing with the LNG plant approved for Coos Bay. Indeed, unless you are some big money, big time player/stakeholder in the decision, your voice doesn't amount to a pile of horse shit.

But that doesn't mean we should throw in the towel. It clearly demonstrates the necessity for greater organization and coordination among the forces for good. We have everything against us. The market economy provides a direct disincentive to work for the common good. You have to have an extraordinary level of self sacrifice and altruism to do what is right in today's world. But countless warriors we nevertheless are. Just dilute and dispersed among countless non-profits and ad hoc organizations. or paralyzed within traditional jobs, where quite often doing the right thing will get you fired in a heartbeat.

In Jerry Mander's Manifesto, he talks about powering down, consuming less in over-consuming countries, setting a level of sufficiency. I think he's right. And from Rev. Billy to the Story of Stuff to the NoShopChristmas idea floated by our own JoMo, I think the idea of disengaging from the teat of consumerism is gaining traction. It'll be interesting to see what the numbers are from this shopping season.


Rev. Bob Richards said...

Please don't let big media take over the air ways as well as the newspapers this is why:

The three largest newspapers plus the Internet site in Alabama are owned by Advance Publications, Inc. Advance Publications Inc. is owned by Samuel Irving Newhouse Jr. and his brother Donald Newhouse.

They literally print nothing but lies about all Democrats in the state. They will not allow their investigative reporters any access to these cases. If they would have investigated and printed the truth about Don Siegelman (Jewish) like the locally own papers done the Canary’s would have been run out of the state by its citizens before now.

It has taken a few months, but most Alabamians now know the truth about their good friend Don Siegelman, about the conspiracy that removed the most popular Democrat in Alabama by Bush’s appointees and how his elections were taken from him.

These three newspaper instruct their writers to start every article that they write about Siegelman with this statement, “our newspapers endorsed Riley and we believe Siegelman to be a crook” then they twist every sentence after that to sound negative.

Many of us are dropping our subscriptions and are switching to locally owned newspapers.

David said...

hmmm...this reminds me of the clear channel communications conglomeration's use of the '96 telecommunications act. i fear the day when the unhindered expansion of big media corporations will hinder information distribution, render free speech impotent, and cause biased understanding of world events by its audience.

it's interesting that you mention the need for powering down, consuming less, etc. i was having the very same conversation with jennifer earlier tonight...whether anything i said made an impression or not though...who knows.

hey, i was wondering if you had seen "mindwalk" and "waking life"? my friend's wife recommended them to me and i found them to be very interesting...just thought you might like watching them if you haven't done so already.

tkn said...

I saw waking life. Its was pretty cool. Kind of over my head, but I'd like to see it again. Never heard of mindwalk. Thanks for the tip.

Strayer said...

Lots of people this year have decided to avoid Christmas consumerism spending on things they don't need and nobody needs and that they can't afford anyhow. I think it's a great movement. Lots of people exist on credit cards and carrying debt loads. Like the federal government. Who needs five coats? Who needs ten pairs of shoes? Who needs two cars or ten bikes or, well, you know what I mean. There's so much need in our world. If all the Christmas money spent on plastic toys and electronic garbage gadgets could go to real needs, man, what a difference could be made.