Sunday, September 20, 2009

A 9-Point Program to Restore "The Press" To Relevance

It's a truism of media criticism: The "Press" does not actually "tell" the People what to think. It's a canard to proclaim the opposite.

The indubitable power of the press rests on its (evident if you pay attention, but mostly implicit) function to shape what the People talk about, and to more or less dictate the vocabularies used to talk about it. A "Press" which examines critically the power of CorpoRat Murka would be a vital tool in reclaiming our 'democratic republic'--our "commons"--from the privateers. This will require rolling back some 30 years of corpoRat "media consolidation," which--however unlikely--is the ONLY solution.

The following was posted in Comments at Buzzflash this morning, and an antidote to the lackluster performance of the lap-dog SCUM for the last 30 years (at least).
Amend the Communications Act of 1996 to:

1) Reinstate the Fairness Doctrine
2) Compel divestiture
3) No entity may own more than a total of 5 media properties in the US. Period (Media properties include: newspapers, wire services, magazines, TV stations, Radio stations, Broadcasting companies, computer companies, motion picture studios, talent agencies, software companies, entertainment production companies, cable systems, web pages, advertising agencies, publishing companies, stores that sell books, DVDs, music, broad and narrowband companies, web hosting sites and webpages);
4) Media companies may not have interlocking directorates. Screwpert Murdoch has NO business sitting on the board of directors of the ASSociated Press!
5) No media company may own more than one media property in a market;
6) Advertisers are held responsible for the content of media they purchase advertising for;
7) Newspapers, broadcasting companies and cable systems are responsible for the content they carry
8) All Media companies are taxed at 25% of their gross income, the funds derived will finance real public broadcasting with no corporate ties.
9) The airwaves belong to the American people, not to Murdoch, GE, Redstone or any other billionaire.
All are excellent suggestions, though I suggest the only reliable way to accomplish any of the above remedies is via a Constitutional Amendment.

Which won't happpen, either, for reasons I articulated in a reply to the fore-going post:
Every last one of the things you recommend are vitally necessary to the rejuvenation of a relevant press.

Which is why THEY'LL NEVER FUUKIN HAPPEN! No way. Nada! Zero chance. Zilch. None...

Because the rejuvenation of "the Press" is ABSOLUTELY the furthest thing from the minds of the FCC, the Obamanauts, or anybody in Congress, to say nothing of the CorpoRat mavens who own the existing effective domestic monopolies on news and information... Can you imagine the noise if GE were somehow to be compelled to sell NBC, and Murdoch were required to sell-off WSJ, etc? Disney and ABC? Soi-disant Sumner Redstone, the decrepit pissant who owns CBS, would flat expire (not that that would be a bad thing, actually).

Nobody's got enough integrity--or money--to resist that onslaught of influence and cash (to the extent that one can distinguish between them) that would arise to block ANY effort to reduce the CorpoRat influence over the '4th Estate.' ("In the CorpoRat State, "corporate media" are State Media, as some semi-smart guy once said, somewhere...oh, wait).

Oh, yeah, and thank the "sainted" William Jefferson Clenis for the favor of the Comm Act of '96...

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