It doesn’t get a whole lot better than that!
Tune in bright and early, as Senator Bernie Sanders will be with me just moments after 10am ET, when the show begins. There’s so much I’d like to discuss with him but, since our time is limited, I’ll tackle an issue that’s near and dear to me and, apparently, to him too.
When MSNBC suspended Keith Olbermann, these words came over my computer via Sen. Sanders’ twitter feed:
” There already is far too much media concentration in this country. We need more diversity, more local ownership, more viewpoints….. Progressives know there is something very wrong when a nation divided politically has one major network operating as a propaganda arm of the Republican party, and 90% of talk radio is dominated by right-wing extremists.”
And now, we’re faced with more media concentration by way of the proposed Comcast takeover of NBC. Senator Sanders is working to prevent that from happening.
Sanders to FCC: Block Comcast-NBC Merger
WASHINGTON, Nov. 16 – Sounding an alarm over the concentration of media ownership in the United States, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today asked the Federal Communications Commission to disapprove the merger of NBC Universal and Comcast.
“At a time when a small number of giant media corporations already control what the American people see, hear, and read, we do not need another conglomerate with control over the production and distribution of sports, news, and entertainment,” Sanders said. “In my view, we need more media diversity, more local control, more points of view – not more media concentration.
Decreased diversity and increased cable rates also are among the likely consequences of the deal, Sanders said in a letter to the FCC opposing the combination of media conglomerates.
The proposed merger would fold NBC Universal, the General Electric subsidiary, into Comcast, the largest cable television provider in America. If the FCC okays the deal, Sanders said the result would be “less local news, less diverse points of view and less competition for viewers and advertising.”
The arrangement also would put other content providers at a competitive disadvantage to NBC in reaching Comcast cable customers, the senator said. Comcast would be in a position to charge independent producers higher fees and to offer them less desirable placements on cable channel lineups.
Sanders cited a study by former FCC chief economist William Rogerson, who calculated that consumers would pay $2.4 billion in added rates if the merger is completed. “I would think it an obvious conclusion that ‘public interest, convenience, and necessity’ would not be served by a regressive wealth transfer of $2.4 billion from ordinary citizens to what would be one of the largest corporate entities in the United States,” Sanders wrote.
By statute, the commission should not approve a transfer of station license “except upon . . . finding . . . that the public interest, convenience, and necessity will be served thereby.” The proposed merger, Sanders said, clearly does not meet that standard.
Senator Sanders has launched a Facebook group for grassroots opponents of the merger. Sign on and help out.
So, we’ll certainly talk about that, and the related issues of talk radio (including the sad situation I find myself in here in South Florida, where I’m told that my politics are too “crazy” and “nuts” for WFTL, the station that’s home to Joyce Kaufman – the woman that inspired a threat that locked down all schools in Broward county one week ago today), and net neutrality– which is the only way liberal voices will continue to be heard!
In hour two, I’ll be joined by the one and only Digby! I’ve never met Digby in person, though I’ve been reading her blog for years. We’ll talk about what she’s been writing about recently… from the TSA scanner and patdown insanity (Welcome to the Police State) to the trash that comes out of right wing radio on a regular basis (This Is What They Do), to the surreal world of the Palin family (Tribal Dancing with the Stars and The Teabag Channel) and, or course, the Obama presidency (The Blame Game).
Listen live from 10-noon ET, or check back later for the podcast.