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The Media United States

Congress May Overturn FCC's Media Consolidation Plan 439

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the giving-things-a-second-look dept.
Spril writes "A congressional committee voted yesterday to prevent the FCC from allowing even more consolidation of the media industry. The original ruling was covered on Slashdot. The committee attached the pro-consumer proposal to a bill funding the Justice and State departments for 2004. But the Bush administration has threatened to veto the funding because they support ever-larger corporations owning ever-bigger chunks of the spectrum that theoretically belongs to the public. Clear Channel may need to cough up some more money for their lobbyists."
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Congress May Overturn FCC's Media Consolidation Plan

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  • by chrisgeleven (514645) on Thursday July 17, 2003 @11:52PM (#6468101) Homepage
    ...the United States of America Congress for approx. 1.257631919191918 seconds sided with consumers.
  • by perimorph (635149) on Thursday July 17, 2003 @11:53PM (#6468105)
    The committee attached the pro-consumer proposal to a bill funding the Justice and State departments for 2004.

    Finally, an attachment that might be safe to open!! *Proceeds to double-click in Outlook*
  • What the fuck... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bsrokc73013 (632614) on Thursday July 17, 2003 @11:53PM (#6468106)
    It's quite clear that President Bush (or I should say the White House)threatens to veto ANYTHING that even hints at anti-corporate behavior! It's quite clear that he feels his mandate is to serve the corporations rather than the consumer!! I keep the seeing this time after time after time since he was elected (or should I say appointed) President. Fuck him! I'm NOT voting for him in 2004 this time around!!!
    • Re:What the fuck... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 18, 2003 @12:03AM (#6468168)
      i'm pretty evenly split on dem/rep issues.

      a few issues on both sides that i agree with, with a lot of issues "undecided/don't know"

      what i do know is the republicans push the idea of "smaller government"

      this is appealing in a way. i don't want a large overbearing government fucking with my life.

      but i think many pure unquestioning republicans don't understand is, I DON'T WANT LARGE OVERBEARING CORPORATIONS fucking with me either.

      the end result is the same. I, an individual, am made irrelevant.

      THAT is why i have so little faith....in either party.
      • Re:What the fuck... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by istewart (463887) on Friday July 18, 2003 @12:29AM (#6468276)
        At the very least, our government theoretically has some sort of accountability to the people. Corporations do not have this, as the stockholders will be happy as long as their shares pay out.
        • by Anonymous Coward
          Not all corporations are bad. My wife and I are in business for ourselves. We established our own corporation for it. We are the only shareholders, and the only employees of our small corporation. Don't blindly bash all corporations, please.
      • by gantrep (627089) on Friday July 18, 2003 @12:50AM (#6468359)
        Join the Libertarian Party. They are more serious about smaller government than the republicans, and they are more serious about protecting our rights than the democrats.
        • by Anonymous Coward
          Oh yes, join the Libertarian Party, and get rid of all social services, social security, Minimum Wage, Overtime Pay, Public Education, Public Transportation, Federal & State Financial aid, and make this nation a Dog-Eat-Dog/Survival of the Fittest Nation? I don't think so. The Libertarian Party is no different than the Conservative Republicans, except they are anarchists, and the republicans are not. I would vote for Dubya before I would vote Libertarian, and I think that Dubya is the worst president
        • Not, mind you, that libertarians would approve of gov'ts sticking its dirty nose into who owns what media.
        • by macshune (628296) on Friday July 18, 2003 @01:52AM (#6468589) Journal
          From what I can tell the libertarians promote laissez-faire capitalism, which just means "leave regulation up to the markets (lit. "leave it alone" in french, i think)." Since it seems the markets have free reign right now, isn't this what the libertarians want? With the current administration, the market gets to decide how much of something one particular corporation can own in any particular market.

          There is no easy solution to this. Personally, I'd just as well have communication companies be public trusts. Pulitzer was supposedly going to do this with his publishing empire before he died, but one of his heirs caught wind of it and made him change his mind.
          • Since it seems the markets have free reign right now, isn't this what the libertarians want?

            How can you say the markets have free reign right now, when usaable spectrum is kept artificially scarce by government? If it weren't for the FCC, media consolidation would be irrelevant and a nearly useless strategy for the megacorps to pursue.

            It's not just a radio thing, either. The city I live in, only has one cable TV company. Do you really think that's because no other entrepreneurs thought they could suc

            • I guess I wrote a confusing comment. What I meant by "the markets have free reign" is that corporations seemingly have a lot of leeway with regards to what laws they can get passed in congress nowadays. I agree with most regulations passed by the government, except for regs solely aimed at consolidating markets (and a few othres).

              I'm not sure that the reason you only have one cable company in your town is because of some law passed... Cable infrastructure is very expensive to install and so few companie
          • Clearly, if you actually think markets have free reign, you aren't familiar with the markets for sugar, oil, milk, natural gas, corn, soy, steel, sorghum, Hummers, etc, etc, etc. These markets are all fixed in some degree or another, either by outright decree, welfare *cough* i mean government subsidies, targeted "regulation" and tariffs, etc, etc.

            The funny thing about capitalism is that the most rabid self-proclaimed capitalists practice it so seldom. Hardly any primary source of productivity is untou

          • Libertarians want less government, which IMO is a good thing. However, their methods also allow out of control captitalism and monopolies. Many libertarians supported MS and think it is OK to have that kind of monopoly power. I found this good read on why libertarians should think differently about monopolies. Microsoft - Undeserving of Libtertarian Praise [ihug.co.nz]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 17, 2003 @11:53PM (#6468110)
    ...when we need clearchannel licenses to operate radios. Similar to the UK's radio/tv tax, only done by the one company that rightfully controls the entire radio band and has the right to tax it. In socialism, the government takes away freedoms. In democracy, companies take away freedoms. In a mix (the US), companies take away freedoms with government mandate.
    • capitalism and socialism are opposite ends of an axis.
      democracy and dictatorship/monarchy are opposite ends of another axis.

      A state can be totalitarian and capitalist (fascism):

      "Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

      "The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic State itself. That, in its essence, is Fascism -- ow
  • Thank god... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by matty (3385)
    It was becoming one of those situations where you're worried that it's going to wind up like a plot for a bad movie. "Thank you for tuning into KUSA (yeah, I'm a left-coaster), the ONE broadcasting company you need!"

    At least there will be some discourse, or so one would hope.
  • Don't get too happy. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kid zeus (563146) on Thursday July 17, 2003 @11:56PM (#6468126)
    Unfortunately, this challenge only applies to the increase in percentage of TV broadcast ownership. The change allowing cross-media ownership (so that ClearChannel, for example, can now own several radio stations plus TV stations plus newspapers) will not be challenged. Congressmen (mostly Republics, surprise, surprise) threatened to kill the entire bill if any changes in the cross-media section were pushed.

    Still, better than nothing I suppose. If this passes, Fox will have to go ahead and divest itself of the excess Television coverage they picked up that put them in violation of the cap.
    • I guess it depends on who scares you the most, then: Disney or Clear Channel.

      My bets are with the Mouse.

      justen
    • This is for all practical purposes a Rupert Murdoch bill. If a politicianis on the Rupert Murdoch enemies list (I.E Democrats) then you want to oppose any bill giving him more power to demonize you to the public and call you a traitor or a terrorist. If you are a politician who benefits from Rupert Murdoch (I.E a republican) either directly by receiving money from him or indirectly from one of his many media outlets (Fox and such) then you want to give him even more power to call you a hero.
  • by KU_Fletch (678324) <bthomas1@[ ]edu ['ku.' in gap]> on Thursday July 17, 2003 @11:57PM (#6468128)
    "Defenders of the recent FCC ruling said that critics were exaggerating its impact and that networks had to get bigger to continue providing free broadcast television"

    You know, I had almost forgotten that you could get TV without cable or satellite. Silly luddites and their airwave TV.
    • Often, it's the easiest way to get HDTV, which the FCC is TRYING to get people to adopt, IIRC.
  • ahhhh.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 17, 2003 @11:58PM (#6468138)
    "the Bush administration has threatened to veto the funding because they support ever-larger corporations owning ever-bigger chunks of the spectrum that theoretically belongs to the public"

    Now I remember why I read slashdot, for the non-biased even-handed reporting. Now when are we going to see a mention of Fritz Hollings' membership in the democratic party?
    • "Now I remember why I read slashdot, for the non-biased even-handed reporting."

      Where are you from? Did you just land on this planet? Who the hell gave you the idea that slashdot was a newspaper or that the people who run it are journalists?
  • by Jad LaFields (607990) on Thursday July 17, 2003 @11:59PM (#6468145)
    But the Bush administration has threatened to veto the funding because they support ever-larger corporations owning ever-bigger chunks of the spectrum that theoretically belongs to the public

    Nice editorializing. Just tell us the story next time, okay?
    • Nice editorializing. Just tell us the story next time, okay?

      Oh come on. This is the second post I've seen that bitches about that line, but it's not editorializing! It's the honest-to-God TRUTH! I noticed that neither of you tried to deny the veracity of the statement, just the way it which is was said. BTW, I don't see this as a Republican versus Democrat issue; both parties are corporate stooges. It's just that Republicans are often the most egregious offenders.

      I reckon you're just used to the way the

    • Thank you.

      Slashdot is really more of an "opinionated news site". Many times, as in this case, I find it giving me heads up to read about this issue,and not actually telling me about it.
    • Partisan politics (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gad_zuki! (70830) * on Friday July 18, 2003 @02:13AM (#6468665)
      The FCC vote went along party lines. [marketwatch.com] Please don't play the "You're playing partisan politics, bad dog!" line when we're dealing with partisan politics. Thanks.

      Text for those who don't want to click
      WASHINGTON (CBS.MW) -- In a bitter 3-2 vote, the Federal Communications Commission agreed Monday to allow broadcasters to buy more television stations and permit a company to own newspapers and TV channels in the same city.


      The move, which pitted the FCC's three Republicans against the two Democrats, casts aside decades-old government regulations and could spur more media industry mergers and acquisitions.
      I don't understand why there are so many Bush apologists from every camp, but I'd rather face facts that begin to pretend there are no differences between the two major parties regarding this issue.
  • by Alien Being (18488) on Friday July 18, 2003 @12:00AM (#6468147)
    Ralph Nader made some interesting observations [nader.org] about the proposed changes.
  • I've pretty much ... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by craenor (623901) on Friday July 18, 2003 @12:03AM (#6468170) Homepage
    Given up on Media anyway. Even the media organizations that you could once count on being neutral and just reporting the facts are lost to us now.

    If you trust anything reported by so called unbiased media sources, you are a fool. Times have changed, the news is all about ratings. Sensationalism, no matter the truth or consequences is the order of the day.

    And no, you can't trust the news from the internet either. Honestly, as a society, I am concerned about what we are going to do next. If we continue along this path, Time-Warner, Clear Channel and the rest might as well just start speaking for us.

    I'm certainly not against free speech...but I think more effort needs to be invested in keeping media conglomerates in check.
    • by MBCook (132727)
      If you want to know all about how the New York Times went from being an unbiast paper, the "paper of record", to a liberal cheerleader, I suggest you read the first chapter of a new book called "Off With Their Heads." A facinating read.
      • how the New York Times went from being an unbiast paper, the "paper of record", to a liberal cheerleader

        If they're supposed to be such a liberal cheerleader, how is it that in 2000 they were so eager to repeat whatever slander the Republicans felt like making up about Gore? Ne researh or verification of the facts, just complete acceptance of invented misquotes.

      • "If you want to know all about how the New York Times went from being an unbiast paper, the "paper of record", to a liberal cheerleader, I suggest you read the first chapter of a new book called "Off With Their Heads." A facinating read."

        Yeah, the Times is a real liberal paper all right. That's why they spent all that effort covering up Whitewater and why they've been so dogged in exposing the Bush administration's mendacity. Thank God that Dick Morris was able to take some time off from having fetish

      • by zenyu (248067) on Friday July 18, 2003 @02:22AM (#6468690)
        If you want to know all about how the New York Times went from being an unbiast paper, the "paper of record", to a liberal cheerleader...

        A liberal cheerleader? huh? I agree that they've gone from being stodgy and sometimes acceptable to sometimes sensationalist and completely bogus, but the only issues they are even remotely liberal on is when it comes to some minorities' civil rights. There is more liberal reporting in the Wall Street Journal and the Economist when it comes to anything else.

        If I had to peg the NYT ideology I'd say it's conservative upper middle class. That's not the same as right wing christian ideology but it's still conservative.

        Not that I care much about their ideology, the reporting has been so rotten over the last decade that it doesn't matter much. Except that it's still widely read since there is little else. (The Wash Post & the LA Times have been improving though, and the BBC website is marginaly acceptable for world news headlines.)
    • by Homology (639438)
      Even the media organizations that you could once count on being neutral and just reporting the facts are lost to us now.

      There do exist alternativ sources of informed and critical journalism. For instance, ZNet [zmag.org] has many articles written by very good journalists from respected newspapers. Quite a few articles/interviews with Noam Chomksy as well on that site.

    • by cpeterso (19082) on Friday July 18, 2003 @12:35AM (#6468306) Homepage

      I used to think NPR was the cleanest news source and I've even donated money to them. However, every news source must serve its master. NPR receives huge donations from biotech companies like Archer Daniels Midland ("The nature of what's to come" and "Supermarket to the world"). How can I trust NPR to give "fair and balanced" reporting about subjects like genetically engineered foods when they are ADM's bitch?

      And then there was the whole fiasco about US Army psy-ops (i.e. propagandists) working as "interns" in NPR and CNN's news rooms.

      Ironically, I still listen to NPR because, even though they are influenced (like every other news source), I find their subjects and spin the most appealing. I guess you have to pick your poison. Though I have been reading the BBC and Guardian UK news lately..

    • Try to mix and match (Score:4, Informative)

      by Paladin144 (676391) on Friday July 18, 2003 @01:01AM (#6468410) Homepage
      I try to counteract the omnipresent corporate media (by not watching TV for one thing) by balancing out their spin with that of non-corporate media. I'm not sure if you are aware of Independent Media Center [indymedia.org] and AlterNet [alternet.org], but if not, you should definitely spend some time surfing their respective sites. Yes, they're on that internet thingy, but I'm pretty sure that paper does not have any special deception-repelling powers.

      Independent Media Center is amazing in it that anyone can submit a story. This is much more likely to be read on the local versions; there are dozens of locals Centers, spread around the globe. IndyMedia has proved to be an important organizing tool for progressive groups in third world countries.

      AlterNet, on the other hand, is more of a news analysis site, where the headlines of the day are tackled from different angles and where you can find information that the mainstream media "forgot" to report.

      The importance of sites like these is that they allow you to see a different side of an issue. In a world controlled by the right-wing corporate media machine, this can be seen as a very good thing©.

    • by Nic-o-demus (169477) <jwecker AT entride DOT com> on Friday July 18, 2003 @01:03AM (#6468416) Journal
      William Safire, a columnist for the NYT, wrote an insightful editorial [nytimes.com] concerning congress' actions.
      Some quotes:
      But to everyone's amazement, the networks' power play was foiled. Representative Frank Wolf of Virginia urged his G.O.P. colleagues to vote their consciences, and an amendment to hold the cap on a huge conglomerate's ownership to 35 percent of the national TV audience was passed by a vote of 40 to 25.
      ...
      According to this week's Pew Research poll about the F.C.C. plan (to break the ownership barrier and permit media crossover), "By roughly 10 to one (70%-6%), those who have heard a lot about the rules change say its impact will be negative." Nearly half of those polled had heard about this issue, despite conflicted media coverage.


      This growing grass-roots grumbling against giantism is getting through to legislators ordinarily cowed by network-owned station managers or wowed by big-media campaign contributions. Unfortunately, the any-merger-goes F.C.C. chairman, Michael Powell, has derided objections to his diktat as "garbage," and the White House strategist Karl Rove dismisses the depth of voter resentment that Democrats will be able to exploit next year.
      In conclusion, Safire seems to think (and he's usually keen on such things from what I can tell) that this might turn into an election issue. Let's make sure it does.
      Eco-cons as well as libertarians may snicker, but Republican Representative Richard Burr of North Carolina observed that 26 independent NBC affiliates had recently exercised their right to refuse to telecast "Maxim's Hot 100." If independents are gobbled up with the F.C.C.'s blessing, more decisions affecting local mores will be made in Rockefeller Center. Is that what George Bush stands for?


      ...public opinion is on the march. Some in-house pollster should awaken President Bush to a bipartisan sleeper issue that could blindside him next year.
    • " Given up on Media anyway."

      If you want unbiased news your best bet is to look outside the country. Lucky for you english versions of most countries news outlets are available on the web.

      During our invasion of iraq the best place to get news was from New Zealand, Chinese, and russian news outlets. Even CNN asia was much less biased then CNN US. Too bad I don't speak arabic it would have been interesting to hear what al zereera was saying. Of course they were not allowed to broadcast in english in the US.
      • by ThesQuid (86789)
        Chinese? You must be joking! I've been in China since last December, and the coverage here was ridiculously slanted. One would have thought the Americans had invented some sort of smart bomb that only targeted old women, children and puppies by the kind of coverage they had here. Whereas the reality was, they went out of their way NOT to target civilian populations.
    • by Lumpy (12016)
      Times have changed, the news is all about ratings. Sensationalism, no matter the truth or consequences is the order of the day.

      and with the advent of blipverts and the passing of the mandatory TV act of 2005 the citizens will recieve 12 years in Jail for not watching their required 4 hours of TV a day.

      Meanwhile in other news, the federal government executed 27 members of a illegal music sharing cartel citing the rosen/valenti act of 2004. and President Jeb Bush released 12 serial killers from federal pr
  • Slant? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ThesQuid (86789) <`moc.cam' `ta' `789a'> on Friday July 18, 2003 @12:03AM (#6468171) Journal
    Can we PLEASE get the "News for Nerds. Stuff that matters." with just straight reporting and not put editorial/opinion comments DIRECTLY in the lead? That's what the comments are for.
  • Who Owns What (Score:5, Informative)

    by heli0 (659560) on Friday July 18, 2003 @12:07AM (#6468180)
    "Media companies continue to grow, and a shrinking number of them shape what we view and read. What does that mean for journalists -- and for the nation?"
    Columbia Journalism Review's Web guide to what the major media companies own. [cjr.org]

    Judging by how tiny the scroll bar becomes when I open the Clear Channel page, I would say they own most of radio while Viacom, NewsCorp and Disney own most of TV.
    • Re:Who Owns What (Score:2, Interesting)

      by JerC (121199)
      I'm so tired of hearing of how Clearchannel is the "Evil Empire" of the media realm. CC owns roughly 1,200 US radio stations, 40 TV stations, and a good chunk of outdoor advertising. I make no apologies for that. But the question I pose is this: Why does Viacom/CBS/Infinity not come under the same srutiny? By your own link [cjr.org], Viacom's media behemoth may only own a fraction of the radio stations CC does, but control the same number of airwave TV stations, plus MTV, VH1, CMT, BET, Comedy Central, Showtime, Nick
  • by pen (7191) on Friday July 18, 2003 @12:16AM (#6468223)
    Media Consolidation, Media Mergers [iwantmedia.com]

    Changes by the FCC on June 2, 2003, to U.S. media ownership restrictions could result in a series of mergers that may impact television, radio, cable, newspapers and the Internet.
  • Strange bedfellows (Score:4, Interesting)

    by djeaux (620938) on Friday July 18, 2003 @12:20AM (#6468244) Homepage Journal
    Yesterday afternoon as I was driving home from the office, I heard Trent Lott talking about the proposed FCC rule on Public Radio Mississippi. Basically, he said he opposed the new rules because it would reduce the diversity of opinion in the media. It sounded almost exactly like a PIRC form letter.

    Needless to say, I was a bit, um, amazed. But regardless of what you (or I) think of him, Trent Lott is a seasoned politician. And the only way to become one of those is to listen to constituents.

    Maybe he's still atoning for that Strom Thurmond thing...

  • I'm not a techie. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Funksaw (636954) on Friday July 18, 2003 @12:29AM (#6468278)
    I hope this personal anecdote is telling: I'm a journalist. Or will be. Depends on how you look at it. I just got a full scholarship + hefty fellowship to attend grad school in Journalism at University of Texas at Austin. When I graduate, I plan to leave this country for Canada anyway. There are too few jobs in journalism here - even fewer after all those media consolidation mergers go through. Furthermore, most of the "journalism" nowadays is merely "news-entertainment" in the same way the professional wrestling is "sports-entertainment" Hopefully, I plan to move to another country where the laws are freer, the job market for journalism isn't controlled by a handful of major entertainment conglomerates... Although I might leave earlier if Bush is elected in 2004. There's so many scary things going on with Bush that I can't help but think history is repeating itself. Assuming some national emergency doesn't call off the elections in 2004, if Bush wins, I'm leaving that month. There's just no place in America for me. I mean it. I want to be able to live my life without constant fear of getting "dissapeared" by my government or without fear of getting sued left and right by corporations. To grant some perspective on this: I'm scared as hell for this country. Precicely because I know history, and I follow the news. -- Funksaw
    • The above moderation is fair. I've just been paranoid lately. I'm sorry.

      -- Funksaw
    • Re:I'm not a techie. (Score:2, Interesting)

      by reiggin (646111)
      Everybody's a critic but no one is a problem solver. When you can construct a thesis on how to fix the "problems," then you can bitch and whine about the people in office right now. And don't give me any of that "I don't know what's the right thing to do, but I know it when I see it" bullcrap, either. I hope you do leave very soon. Because this country needs less complainers and more workers. You try working for the federal government for a few weeks and then you'll understand much better the nature of
  • more info... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by proj_2501 (78149) <mkb@ele.uri.edu> on Friday July 18, 2003 @12:47AM (#6468348) Journal
    MoveOn.org [moveon.org] recently ran a campaign on this issue.

    I heartily recommend their newsletter.
  • by PotatoHead (12771) <doug@@@opengeek...org> on Friday July 18, 2003 @12:51AM (#6468361) Homepage Journal
    Wrote mine (Oregon) and found he was against this bill. Maybe the ones against, or at least neutral, might make enough noise to help this one go away.

    • Write, and throw in a $20 campaign contribution check. Even that little amount of money shows them that you really ARE sreious and are willing to actually help them if they make you happy. It makes your voice carry a great deal more weight. Might seem silly, but they get letters all the time, when you send money you prove that you aren't just a whiner, you are someone that really does care and will back up your words with actions.
  • by Lelon (443322) on Friday July 18, 2003 @12:58AM (#6468395) Homepage Journal
    I read about this in the basement of the university radio station I DJ at. We're all watching very closely. Here is a quote from Rep. Billy Tauzin, R-La., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, who supports the changed media rules.
    "We have no intentions of taking up that bill," Tauzin spokesman Ken Johnson said. "This has become a political soap opera, and given the chance Chairman Tauzin intends to cancel its run."
    I'll admit I'm not an expert on House Committee rules, but this is a serious obstacle for this bill.

    What has really peaked my interest is that this bill not only seeks to undo the most recent FCC decision, but seeks to undo the radio deregulation of 1996, which has been great for ClearChannel but a disaster for the music industry. In my opinion it is directly responsible for the lack of quality most people see in today's music industry (and therfore the primary reason for the music industrys economic slump).
    Another amendment involving radio passed 12-11 and would expand the FCC's new, stricter radio ownership rules so they apply to stations a company already owns. If enacted, the change could force companies like Clear Channel, the country's largest radio chain with 1,200 stations, to sell stations in markets where they exceed ownership limits.


    "This is an attempt to single out one company for being successful and punish them for playing by the rules," said Andy Levin, a Clear Channel vice president. He predicted the measure will be defeated later.


  • by seismic (91160)
    If you think your government is not doing enough to protect consumers, take some responsibility and start planning how you're going to change things around next election.

    The United States used to be a democracy, but it is less so now. This is only because of the recent apathy in the general population. Governments do whatever they want only when you allow them to.

    There's nothing broken here (a right wing government, suppressive anti consumer legislation) that can't be undone once you get the people you w
  • by ADOT Troll (687975) on Friday July 18, 2003 @01:49AM (#6468571) Journal
    More info on a clear channel scandal regarding their traffic "reporting" can be found here [tucsonweekly.com].
  • Own Your Own Station (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ssafarik (63841) on Friday July 18, 2003 @02:05AM (#6468643)
    You can buy your own microradio FM transmitter from http://www.nrgkits.com [nrgkits.com] for well under $200, and be on the air quickly. Play your favorite stream, your list of mp3's, be a local repeater for Al Jazeera, or whatever you please. The spectrum is owned by the public afterall.

    The FCC doesn't like it, but you can probably expect to be on the air at a couple of watts (1-2 mile range) for a year or more before they come knocking. Just choose your frequency carefully, and listen to neighboring stations for interference (which, BTW, almost never occurs).

    • by Lumpy (12016) on Friday July 18, 2003 @06:42AM (#6469328) Homepage
      oh gawd no. the NRG kits suck horribly and have nasty spuirious emissions. as well as being a bitch to tune right without a $30,000.00US service monitor.

      www.northcountryradio.com their $150 ish kit has a limiter built in, a modulation meter so you can actually adjust it, AND they designed it so it can be aligned with a voltmeter, just like the old Marconi excitiers found in older radio stations.

      If you are going to get on the air, you need to spend $$$ if you want to be on for any decent amount of time . you need good feedline, antenna, transmitter, amplifier, and then process your audio... also put a $400.00 high speed 3 band limiter before the transmitter AND do some slight equilization.

      Next, dont act like a N00b and start spewing vomit like the other 90% of the "pirate idiots" make your station sound like a real station, play Ad's , PSA's, station ID every hour, etc...

      only complete morons fire up the transmitter and start the "F**Kin FCC I am King! You are listening to the F***Kin F**K S**T Shiznat Hoe smakin and house blowin' up king of da Radio! WORD!"

      Blend in, I know of one fake station her eth at has to be transmitting at 10 watts and has been on the air for over 5 years.... because they sound like they belong, but only play Indie music.
  • by io333 (574963) on Friday July 18, 2003 @02:32AM (#6468719)
    This is not a troll, just my honest feelings. I tuned out of all mass media almost 10 years ago. Every once in a while I accidentally see or hear a bit of it and can't believe that the garbage the megacorps churn out has become even worse than when I tuned out. What, like more consolidation will make it even sh*ttier, and that's why I should care? Hmmm.... That's a thought: Let them consolidate. Maybe consolidation will make them all go under sooner; hopefully there will be enough remnants of our culture left to help people learn to be creative *on their own* again.

    Once upon a time, folks finished out their evening singing around a piano or playing parolor games instead of stearing mindlessly into the hypnotizing blue light of the boob tube telling them what to think about and how to think about it.

    Take a walk around your neighborhood some night and look at all the houses around 10pm. Seriously, go do it. It's surreal. All you'll see is the eerie blue glow in each and every house. The living rooms without curtains drawn will let you see that every house is now filled with overweight listless expressionless creatures plopped down on overstuffed furniture with their mouths half open. It's like the aliens came down to earth and took over our minds with glowing blue mind control devices. BUT WE DID IT TO OURSELVES!
  • by Otis_INF (130595) on Friday July 18, 2003 @05:21AM (#6469127) Homepage
    Every time when I read articles such as these I wonder: why oh why do Democrats in the USA have such a hard time selling the truth to the public? I mean: the current Bush administration has piled misleading and disputable decision on decision, and the American public seems to feel it is all right. How come? Why aren't the Democrats using these obvious limitations on the freedoms of the American citizens to rally the public so they'll support the Democrats and elect a better government in place which will overturn such decisions like a concentration of media companies?

    You can come to two conclusions:
    1) The Democrats are also after the same money from these media companies as the Republicans are, which in fact makes the USA's democracy rather dead: there is no real choice for Joe Sixpack, the two parties which matter are NOT serving the interests of the people
    2) The Democrats are incapable of fighting Bush effectively. Which also makes the USA democracy rather dead, because the general public doesn't KNOW there is an alternative to 'Bush'. When Bush gets the concetration of media in place, and the holders of these media on his side (which seems to be the case) he controls EVERYTHING and the republicans can stay in power, well... forever.

    If the republican party would exist in The Netherlands, Europe, they would get at most 2 seats in the 150 seat parlement, roughly guessed. Not because we're all 'stinking liberals', but because we tolerate less a government that thinks of big $$$ first and the interest of the public second.

    (To the USA citizens: as a European I see you as a group of people who thought that a president who nailed his intern with cigars should be impeached and a president who started a very expensive war under false intelligence in a time where jobs dissapear very quickly should stay in his office and should stay popular. Think about that for a second.)
    • by FreeUser (11483) on Friday July 18, 2003 @07:54AM (#6469536)
      Every time when I read articles such as these I wonder: why oh why do Democrats in the USA have such a hard time selling the truth to the public? I mean: the current Bush administration has piled misleading and disputable decision on decision, and the American public seems to feel it is all right. How come? Why aren't the Democrats using these obvious limitations on the freedoms of the American citizens to rally the public so they'll support the Democrats and elect a better government in place which will overturn such decisions like a concentration of media companies?


      Because we don't get the news here.

      Seriously.

      Or, to be more precise, the main networks and popular media outlets have filtered the foreign and domestic news beyond all recognition.

      Why? Not because they harbor some pro-Bush bias (although clearly some, such as Fox news, do), but because they all compete in a market for viewership, and several factors coincide to make the media self censoring and self-slanting, including the desire to cozy up to the administration in order to get and maintain access to the white house (which the Bush administration exploits and enforces shamelessly and aggressively...witness seasoned reporters who have been in the whitehouse for 20 years or more being relegated to back seats behind neophytes for posing difficult questions in White House press conferences and subsequently being ignored by the press secretary/president/etc.) and the desire to maintain popularity with a public they perceive as supporting the president.

      The latter is an assumption that is quite possibly mistaken, if the conservatives I work with are any indication (most of whome are saying rather loudly that Bush has gone to far and things are spirallying out of control ... these being the same people who relish the opportunity to bash Hilary and slam President Clinton. In other words, Bush seems to be losing a fair chunk of moderate-to-conservative, but non-religious right, republicans).

      Back on topic, the news we get in the United States is NOTHING like the news you get overseas. Our information is so sanitized and slanted that you would probably not recognize the same events if you saw them reported here. This was driven home rather forcefully the other night when I was at my girlfriend's watching the BBC news on PBS at 10:00pm, and for the first time saw footage of injured soldiers and Iraqis, and heard first hand just what an appalling quagmire this administration's precipitious invasion has put us into. Contrasting that with Fox or CNN (modulo the editorializing there is little difference of late) is like night and day.

      So, while we aren't forbidden from getting foreign news sources per se (the Internet is available, after all, and the BBC is available once/day at 10:00PM), we are discouraged in that the BBC is shown at a time when it must compete against most of the local news broadcasts, on a station few bother to watch (more's the pity), and that virtually every mainstream press to which people have subscribed for the bulk of their lives is heavilly censored and sanitized ... and most people never realize it!

      It is incredibly discouraging to be an American at a time like this, when our country appears to be spiralling full steam into a state of plutocratic fascism, the FCC has gutted and destroyed our telecom industry, crippled our internet industry, and is hell bent on consolidating our remaining media into a few easilly-influenced mega-companies, perhaps even into a single monopoly. The freedom I grew up with has dissappeared bit by bit ever since the Reagan era in the 1980s, and while more people are becoming aware of it today, still there are too few of us, and too many who simply toe the party line or bury their head in the sand in a frenzy of misplaced national pride, and things continue to spiral downward and get worse.

      Perhaps this years record deficit of 450+ Billion dollars, beneath a Republican President and
  • by rhadamanthus (200665) on Friday July 18, 2003 @09:05AM (#6469847)
    "Information is to democracy what blood is to the body. I think we're in danger of shutting off the blood flow in our democracy."


    -- Rep. DAVID OBEY, D-Wis., sponsor of legislation on Capitol Hill to block a new FCC rule allowing media companies to buy more TV stations.


    Found that on Yahoo.


    --rhad

If I have not seen as far as others, it is because giants were standing on my shoulders. -- Hal Abelson

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