Wednesday, December 03, 2003
media regulation is in the public interest http://www.drudgereport.com/dean1.htm
DEAN: First of all, 11 companies in this country control 90 percent of what ordinary people are able to read and watch on their television. That’s wrong. We need to have a wide variety of opinions in every community. We don’t have that because of Michael Powell and what George Bush has tried to do to the FCC.
MATTHEWS: Would you break up Fox? ... Would you break it up? Rupert Murdoch has “The Weekly Standard.” It has got a lot of other interests. It has got “The New York Post.” Would you break it up? ... No, seriously. As a public policy, would you bring industrial policy to bear and break up these conglomerations of power? ... how about large media enterprises?
DEAN: The answer to that is yes. ... I would say that there is too much penetration by single corporations in media markets all over this country. We need locally-owned radio stations. There are only two or three radio stations left in the state of Vermont where you can get local news anymore. The rest of it is read and ripped from the AP.
However, what Drudge and the other commentators don't emphasise is this much more relevant exchange:
MATTHEWS: So what are you going to do about it? You’re going to be president of the United States, what are you going to do?
DEAN: What I’m going to do is appoint people to the FCC that believe democracy depends on getting information from all portions of the political spectrum, not just one.
(emphasis mine) Yes, the President has enormous influence in terms of who he appoints to the FCC. In Bush's case, he appointed the son of his Secretary of State, who then proceeded to push for relaxation of regulations to the enormous benefit of the media corporations, and which required a massive public outcry to stop.
Dean will appoint people who are not beholden to interests but who are professional in their approach to the public, not the corporate, interest. That WILL lead to some breakup of large media conglomerates and a dilution of influence. That is overwhelmingly what the public wants (as evidenced by the massive opposition to the Powell power grab) and what is in the public interest.
It's not surprising that media conservatives are upset about it though.
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Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.