Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Tomlinson Wants to Muzzle NPR Next


Broadcaster's fairness attacked

"The corporation's board has told its staff that it should consider redirecting money away from national news broadcasts and toward local music programs produced by NPR stations."

Jesus, Tomlinson gets around. No sooner do I post he's wants to play the neocon O’Brien to the PBS Winston Smith, he's going after NPR as well.

This is an all-out power grab, folks. If you mix this altogether and contemplate life under Republican rule, you start cold-sweating like Limbaugh in a CVS. Think about how well they've got this covered.

Long-term, the FCC has been allowing more and more media consolidation; many smaller cities have one corporate voice who owns the radio, paper, and tv station(s). Thanks, Powell. There's a hint of the tide turning here, but how easily do you suppose we could ever reverse this? Tell Viacom, "sorry, you gotta dump 25 stations?" Nearly impossible, so we're stuck in a perpetual situation where corporate media can't lose any monopoly power but is always one election away from further favorable FCC rule changes.

FauxNews is the gold standard by which all cable channels will gravitate. No reporting effort required. Murdoch gets his marching orders from Rove and passes them down to Ailes. Ailes sends out his "daily memo" which dictates what all Fox stations across the US will broadcast. The Dear Leader followers eat it up, guaranteeing ratings no matter what is broadcast (as long as it remains pro-Republican but most importanly, whining about liberals.)

Rush Limbaugh and his backers was successfully installed for this same crowd, at a time when AM radio was in its death throes. Station owners saw his ratings - a built-in audience of wild-eyed Republicans - and copied him over and over across the nation. When Clear Channel, et. al. bought up and consolidated all the stations, thanks to the now-friendly FCC; an unbreakable monopoly of Clinton-bashing, wealthy coddling airwaves was created.

Now throw in corporate owners slashing news budgets, print media in a downward spiral, and 24-hour news cycles. What you have is a system desperate for easy, packaged, brain-dead news stories. Look! A run-away bride! Swift boat vets! A blow job!

An election results in an administration that is not afraid to pay for whores, and not the Guckert variety. Toss a few thousand dollars to syndicated columnists, asking for supportive articles. Produce a few government videos proclaiming how great your policies are and get CNN to distribute them to unsuspecting local stations.

Start a war. Call anybody against it a coward, a traitor, or anti-American. Embed reporters with the troops. Rah! Rah! Hoo-hah! Militarism not catching on? Call up Murdoch and ask him to superimpose the flag on his broadcasts, 24x7.

Refuse to brief reporters unless they agree to keep you "unnamed." Criticize every negative article that contains unnamed sources. Plant a few more fake stories; not the overproduced government infomercials, but juicy, negative stories that have your fingerprints wiped off of them (bin Laden is pro-Kerry!) Turn the terror alert level into O'Reilly's mood ring.

Public broadcasting is just about the last arena the American Taliban doesn't dominate. Now they're bending it over, too.

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