Monday, January 22, 2007

NCMR: Big Media Squatters, "Tear Down That Shantytown"


During the 1980's Ronald Reagan rule, with his eye on Berlin as he famously implored Mr. Gorbachev to "tear down that wall", the Fairness Doctrine to ensure equal opportunity of opposing viewpoints came tumbling down with it. Those were the days. The Reagan years...

If the airwaves really do belong to the people, how about collecting rent from these inner circle squatters who today, get to privatize their value as their own cash cow? While Big Media conglomerates keep buying up our airwaves and sell them back to each other, shareholders, and not the public, are the winners. Instead of the public supporting Big Media shareholders, we need take back the airwaves and collect that rent and then direct those funds to public coffers.

So why are right wing pundits slinging arrows at calls to resurrect the FAIRNESS DOCTRINE? Why does Washington insist on tilting the playing field to Big Media? Government protects Big Media and discourages smaller, innovative media outlets from developing independent local and national programming. The FCC’s pro-consolidation push has given rise to the public’s demand for reform, as presented this month by sponsored NCMR in Memphis, TN.

Back in the days before Ronald Reagan dismantled the Fairness Doctrine, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) took seriously the commission's mandate to promote entrepreneurship in the media marketplace. But like all trickle down right wing programs devised to let the plebes eat cake and choke on it, the thirst for new media reform has generated a surge of public interest in taking back the democratic voice of America.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) was Man of the Hour, making a surprise appearance in Memphis to announce that he would be heading up a new House subcommittee which will focus on issues surrounding the Federal Communications Commission. Alrighty, then! Kucinich said in his speech that "We know the media has become the servant of a very narrow corporate agenda" and added "we are now in a position to move a progressive agenda to where it is visible." While libertarians and the right wing are crying foul over reinstating the Fairness Doctrine, insisting that multiple markets drive media and government has no business ‘interfering,’ what exactly is the role of government in the first place -- to protect the interests of the people or the interests of Big Money? Get a clue, wing nuts!

Presidential candidate Kucinich said that the committee would be holding "hearings to push media reform right at the center of Washington.” The Domestic Policy Subcommittee of the House Government Reform Committee was to be officially announced a week later in Washington, D.C., but Kucinich opted to make the news public early.

Watchdogging Big Media? In addition to media ownership, the new committee is also expected to focus on issues such as net neutrality and major telecommunications mergers, a much overdue step to return the airwaves to the people.

Memo to Big Media Squatters: We don't want you in Our Town.


No comments: