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Out Of Control (Slick Willie Barf Alert)
New York Daily News ^ | 6-28-03 | Impeached Former President Bill Clinton

Posted on 06/29/2003 7:29:39 AM PDT by paul in cape

If it's allowed to stand, an FCC ruling will feed media merger mania

BY BILL CLINTON

"It's your money," says President Bush when he promotes tax cuts. I disagree with his tax policy but admire his spin. The same argument applies with greater force to whether big media conglomerates should be allowed to control more television and radio stations: "It's your airwaves."

The American people own the bandwidth that broadcast media companies use to deliver programs to our TV and radio sets. Because the space on that bandwidth is limited, the Federal Communications Commission regulates who has access to our eyes and ears.

For more than 60 years, the FCC allowed companies to own a number of local TV stations, provided that no single company owned enough to reach more than 35% of the population of the United States.

But on June 2, by a 3-to-2 vote, the FCC raised the limit to 45%, giving big media firms the chance to gobble up many more local TV stations. In fact, a single giant corporation will be able to control up to three of the television stations in America's nine largest cities.

The FCC also opened the door to local TV-newspaper mergers in many places, so you'll be getting your news and information from the same company regardless of whether you're turning on the TV or opening the newspaper.

Why is this bad? Because more monolithic control over local media will reduce the diversity of information, opinion and entertainment people get. Interesting local coverage will be supplanted by lowest-common-denominator mass-market mush.

But don't cable TV and the Internet give people more sources of information? In theory, yes. In practice, not necessarily. Big media firms own most of the cable networks and supply much of the content for major Internet sites.

Is this another Democrat vs. Republican battle? Is my concern motivated by the growing influence of right-wing voices in the broadcast media?

While it's true the FCC vote split along party lines - Republicans for looser standards, Democrats against - and while I have noticed the conservative slant in more media organizations these days, the debate over media ownership is not a partisan one.

Organizations from the National Organization for Women to the National Rifle Association have spoken out against what the FCC decided to do. More than 750,000 Americans of all political persuasions registered their opinion of the new rules with the FCC, and nearly 100% of them were opposed!

The lack of diversity and independence in the broadcast media may be why you didn't hear much about this big issue on TV or radio in recent months.

But the opposition is truly a grass-roots movement, and it won't go away, even if it's not on the evening news. And the voice of the people is beginning to be heard, at least on Capitol Hill.

The Senate Commerce Committee acted quickly after the FCC vote to approve legislation - on a bipartisan basis - that would reinstate more sensible media ownership rules.

Although Republicans as well as Democrats oppose the FCC decision, it's unclear whether the Commerce Committee legislation can pass in the full Senate - or in the House of Representatives.

The FCC ruling also faces challenges in the courts. But there is no guarantee the commission's error will be corrected anytime soon.

Therefore, Congress is our best hope. Whatever your political philosophy, if you favor competition and diversity in the media, you should call, write or E-mail your senators and representatives.

The stakes are high. "At issue," says FCC Commissioner Michael Copps, "is whether a few corporations will be ceded enhanced gatekeeper control over the civil dialogue of our country; more content control over our music, entertainment and information, and veto power over the majority of what our families watch, hear and read."

People joke about my liking McDonald's, and I do. But actually I prefer to go down to Lange's Deli, a great family establishment, near my house.

In the brave new world being defined by the FCC, there will be more McMedia on our airwaves and far fewer broadcast equivalents of our favorite local diners.

Unlike restaurants, the airwaves belong to us. We shouldn't give up our right to have more choice.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government
KEYWORDS: 60minutesjob; 8milliondollarpayoff; abcdisney; adulterer; angryoldman; aoltimewarnerturner; bigmedia; bitteroldman; boywhocriedwolf; broadcasters; campaignfinance; campaignlaws; cbsviacom; cfr; clymers; criesoncue; fcc; firstammendment; freedomofpress; freespeech; hepeakedinhighschool; hillarybooktour; hypocrite; impeached; impeachedpresident; kneepadbrigade; liar; liarliarpantsonfire; liedatphotoops; liedattownhalls; liedininterviews; liedinspeeches; liedoncamera; liedtoamerica; liedtohiscritics; liedtohisdaughter; liedtohisfollowers; liedtojournalists; liedunderoath; liesoncamera; liesunderoath; mcdonalds; mediabias; medialapdogs; microsoft; msnbc; newspapers; npr; pacifica; paidoffbyviacom; perjuror; politicalspeech; presidentclinton; publications; publicbroadcasting; publicradio; publishers; putsomeiceonthat; radio; rapist; ratherbiased; rushlimbaugh; seebsviacom; serialrapist; sexaddict; sexualharasser; sexualharassment; silenced; simonandschuster; sinkmeister; sinky; slickwilly; talkradio; tv; viacommie; vrwc; waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa; weightproblem; whitehousesink; x42
How can we miss you when you won't go away?

Published Saturday, but I must have missed His Stickiness.

ARTICLE HERE

1 posted on 06/29/2003 7:29:40 AM PDT by paul in cape
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To: paul in cape
Hmmmm....x42 must REALLY be worried the "word" is getting out ......there's more choice now than ever, and "his" word is being challenged.......BBAAAHHHHWWWAAAAAAHHHHH
2 posted on 06/29/2003 7:37:48 AM PDT by goodnesswins (Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.)
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To: paul in cape
People joke about my liking McDonald's, and I do. But actually I prefer to go down to Lange's Deli, a great family establishment, near my house.

I can only wonder how much he got paid for saying that...

3 posted on 06/29/2003 7:38:56 AM PDT by solitas
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To: paul in cape
Bill Clinton wrote this? Yeah. Right. And I'll take vanilla.
4 posted on 06/29/2003 7:43:21 AM PDT by yankeedame ("Born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad.")
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To: paul in cape
Who are the members of the FCC, what are their numbers and how are they appointed. Maybe we should look at their political affiliations and determine if their are possible conflicts of interest or undue bias in these decisions.
5 posted on 06/29/2003 7:44:47 AM PDT by TiaS
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To: paul in cape
Isn't the left's concern with big corporations that they are only concerned with profits?

Don't broadcasting companies make profits by responding to what the public demands?

Bill Clinton seems to be saying "Its your airways. Let government control them so there can be lots of choices and less of what you actually want to see and hear."

6 posted on 06/29/2003 7:58:42 AM PDT by William McKinley (http://williammckinley.blogspot.com/ --- my new blog that no one cares about)
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To: TiaS
it's unclear whether the Commerce Committee legislation can pass in the full Senate - or in the House of Representatives.

Congress is our best hope

I haven't followed this whole case, but from what I remember from the hearings, all the FCC is doing is writing the regulations to implement what Congress has already passed into law. The media is spinning this as a rogue right-wing agency off closing down free speach. Congress is the responsible party.

7 posted on 06/29/2003 8:04:07 AM PDT by StriperSniper (Frogs are for gigging)
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To: solitas
The Lange's probably give it to him FREE..at McD's he probably has to pay.....plus the Lange's might have a daughter......
8 posted on 06/29/2003 8:07:00 AM PDT by Ann Archy
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To: paul in cape
I believe in the Clinton years there were more Mergers and Acquisitions...in ALL industries than ever before or since.
9 posted on 06/29/2003 8:08:19 AM PDT by Ann Archy
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To: paul in cape
This time its a snow job instead of a b*** job.

Arkansas continues to bubble up its slime two years after the huckster and his blushing bride have departed the White House with their various items of loot.
10 posted on 06/29/2003 8:21:52 AM PDT by hgro
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To: Ann Archy
...plus the Lange's might have a daughter...

Ouch! Now, THAT was REALLY snipe-y and cruel; I like you! :D

11 posted on 06/29/2003 8:22:54 AM PDT by solitas
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To: paul in cape
I just heard about this on WABC.Mark Simone(who should have his own daily program)is very ABLY filling in for Steve Malzberg.He remarked on BeelzeBubba's reference to his"admiration for his SPIN"!He too cannot understand why BeelzeBubba(and his fellow RATS)fails to grasp the reality that it is "OUR MONEY"(those of us who actually pay Federal Income Taxes).Apparently,this is a concept rivaling the mystery(ies)inherent in the meaning of the word"IS"!!!
12 posted on 06/29/2003 8:23:12 AM PDT by bandleader
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To: solitas
I wonder if the Lange family has an attractive daughter(s)?This might go far to explain BeelzeBubba's rejection of the "haute cuisine"at Micky D's in favor of Lange's!I'll bet that he even puts mayonnaise on corned beef!!
13 posted on 06/29/2003 8:27:14 AM PDT by bandleader
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To: TiaS
I just heard Mark Simone on WABC(the NYC EIB flagship station)say that the present FCC commissioner is a BeelzeBubba appointee!Methinks he doth protest too much!!The DemonRats(obviously)believe that the media should be controlled by the government(a propoganda agency),but only by a government that DemonRats are in control of!!Then, we would(to paraphrase Mr.Orwell)all think RIGHT(or is that Left??)!!!!!!!!!!
14 posted on 06/29/2003 8:32:20 AM PDT by bandleader
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To: William McKinley
Exactly!I think that you are ready for The Graduate Program at The EIB Center For Conservative Research!!
15 posted on 06/29/2003 8:39:24 AM PDT by bandleader
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To: William McKinley
"Its your airways."

Translation: It is your remote control. The liberal democrap agenda of the lamestream media caused you to vote them out of your living room. They lost and continue to lose millions of audience, and consolidation was inevitable.

16 posted on 06/29/2003 8:42:27 AM PDT by SSN558 (Be on the lookout for Black White-Supremists)
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To: goodnesswins
That is The DemonRats main problem!The "Word"has got out!!Their solution to the economy is to continue to soak"The Rich"(as little dickie gephardt's reference to"Winners of Life's Lottery")for more and higher taxes to fuel more government spending!!
17 posted on 06/29/2003 8:42:58 AM PDT by bandleader
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To: solitas
I thought he was more fond of Red Chinese takeout...
18 posted on 06/29/2003 8:46:47 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: paul in cape
I disagree with his tax policy but admire his spin.

Absolutely priceless...

19 posted on 06/29/2003 9:52:58 AM PDT by Nexus
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To: paul in cape
"Out of control"..."Clinton"? Where to start. Bubba's idea of "out of control" media:

FIGHT CLUB: FURIOUS CLINTON ORDERS REPORTER BANNED AFTER GRILLING!

DRUDGE REPORT TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 1999 17:09:42 ET

**Exclusive**

A furious President Clinton has ordered a Washington reporter banned from the White House, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned, after the reporter quizzed the president during a press picnic about illegal money from China and the campaign-finance scandal!

Paul Sperry, Washington bureau chief of INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY, was thrown off the invite list at the White House after he grilled the president for more than 10 minutes about various political scandals.

"It turned into a real shout match on the south lawn," one eyewitness told the DRUDGE REPORT.

At one point during the argument, President Clinton put his hands up to both sides of his head, wiggled them, rolled his eyes and gave Sperry a funny face.

"Make sure that guy never gets close to me again!" the president ordered one of his aides after the showdown.

White House press secretary Joe Lockhart, angry that Sperry transformed a family picnic into a confrontational press conference, told an associate that Sperry is a "Class A s**thead."

Lockhart personally informed Sperry during a phone conversation late Monday that he would never be invited back to the White House.

"The only regret we have is inviting you -- and we won't make that mistake again," Lockhart warned Sperry.

It began innocently enough.

"When are you going to have your next formal press conference, Mr. President?" Sperry casually asked Clinton while he was shaking hands and socializing with reporter and their families.

Clinton: "I don't know. I'll have one."

Sperry: "When?"

The president replied, "Why?"

Sperry: "The American people have a lot of unanswered questions."

Clinton: "Like what!"

Sperry: "Questions about illegal money from China and the campaign-finance scandal."

It was at that point that Clinton started to become unglued.

"Who are you with?" Clinton demanded to know.

"I don't like your accusatory tone. It sounds like you've already got the story written."

Sperry gave the president his business card and said that the public wanted answers about the allegations of illegal contributions from China.

Clinton: "I've been all around this country, and you are the first person to ask me about it. Not one person has brought that up... You want to know the only person who has been linked to money from China? Haley Barbour and the RNC, that's who!"

A red-faced Clinton began to rant about Waco, Republicans, the FBI and gun control.

Pictures taken by a newspaper photographer show Clinton wagging his finger in Sperry's face, Washington's version of THE FIGHT CLUB.

Sperry says he was stunned and "woozy" for hours after.

When asked on Tuesday if he felt intimidated during his one-on-one with the most powerful man in the world, Sperry said: "No, he's only about a half an inch taller than I am."


"You know the one thing that's wrong with this country? Everyone gets a chance to have their fair say." - Bill Clinton
20 posted on 06/29/2003 10:10:53 AM PDT by Ragtime Cowgirl (There has been a lot of action lately-a lot of it INSTIGATED by Coalition forces.-Gen Myers, Jun 24)
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To: paul in cape
"It's your airwaves."

Who cares about airwaves? Even if above-ground broadcast bandwidth is limited, fiber bandwidth is effectively unlimited. Any effort by the government or the telcos to control the "airwaves" is quixotic, at best. Maybe Bill should get some advice from Internet Al.

21 posted on 06/29/2003 11:34:21 AM PDT by AZLiberty
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To: paul in cape
The lack of diversity and independence in the broadcast media may be why you didn't hear much about this big issue on TV or radio in recent months.

AND the reason the most outspoken EX-President in history won't keep his mouth shut long enough to fade away! Point being is...Diversity and independence in the broadcast media IS lacking beause of it's extreme slant to the left!!

22 posted on 06/29/2003 12:00:52 PM PDT by EGPWS
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To: paul in cape
Bubba's administration permitted the "merger" (buyout) of Houston's only other daily paper (leaving us with the Houston Comical).

Media monopolies and media bias aren't his concern. Put some ice on that, Sinky!

The Chicago Tribune's owners also own Channel 2 NBC in Houston. While I may not be a fan of the Tribune, this easing of the ownership rules is what it is going to take to allow one of the other major players to start up a competing newspaper in one of the nation's most populated cities. Hearst owns the Houston Comical.

23 posted on 06/30/2003 3:47:03 PM PDT by weegee
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To: Ann Archy
I believe in the Clinton years there were more Mergers and Acquisitions...in ALL industries than ever before or since.

BUMP

The man cried tears on cue, the man lied on camera and wagged his finger at his critics, the man lied under oath.

Why does he think that we would trust him now?

24 posted on 06/30/2003 4:04:13 PM PDT by weegee
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To: paul in cape
One of the reasons that the federal government wants tv broadcasting to go to exclusively digital broadcasts (phase out analog signals) is to reclaim broadcast frequencies.

They want to have these frequencies for cell phone/wireless use though and not radio broadcasting.

The limits on the resource depend on the lobby that is pushing for the airwaves.

25 posted on 06/30/2003 4:19:16 PM PDT by weegee
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