Tuesday, June 03, 2003

Media Ownership: Here it is. Let the whining begin. Until the day comes when people are nailed to chairs and forced to watch certain channels, I just can't see this as a bad thing. In fact, how is there an argument that the industry trend is a bad one? When I was young, my media choices were controlled, basically, by an oligopoly: NBC, CBS, ABC, and PBS, plus a couple of UHF channels that came in fuzzy, and only if you made your little brother stand facing North holding the rabbit ears. Yes, the local network affiliates had some say in what they programmed in the off-hours -- I remember it usually being test patterns. My point is that we have choices now; we can watch nearly anything, anytime. How, exactly, is this the "threat to democracy" that the paint-your-face Davos types want it so badly to be?

This reminds me of the people who complain that Clear Channel owns too many radio stations. Try to cut to the root with them: It's not that they begrudge Clear Channel the profits, per se; it's that Clear Channel's programming is so bad, so flavorless, so mass marketed. So now it's the Taste Police against consolidation, eh? Seems that lots of people are perfectly happy with Clear Channel's programming, though. What gives? Ah, that's the problem: See, the Taste Police don't think you are capable of deciding what's good programming, and they had better step in before we're all listening to shit like Bachman-Turner Overdrive's "Takin' Care of Business" on every radio station simultaneously. Get it? You're too stupid to know what music should be on the radio, and companies like Clear Channel are getting rich off your lowbrow, easily programmed tastes, dumbass. And pretty soon, Viacom will be doing the same thing. Before you know it, people all across the country will tune in to the same network, at the same time, to watch the same show. (Oh, and it'll be a dumb show, mind you -- pure pap aimed at the lowest common denominator. A show about, say, a bunch of lunkheads in a bar in Boston, or worse, a show about nothing at all!)

Now, the pop quiz portion of our program: Who is the actual "threat to democracy" here?

A. Conolidated media outlets like Clear Channel

B. The Taste Police

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