unanimous vote of the Senate Commerce Committee to delay,
and direct question from one of its members
(not to mention
overwhelming opposition in meetings across the country
FCC Chairman Kevin Martin plans to go ahead with the media consolidation
vote scheduled for tomorrow, 18 December, which, given the 3-2
Republican-Democrat makeup of the Commission, will almost certainly
result in more media consolidation.
Not only John Kerry, but even Trent Lott and Ted Stevens spoke against
Martin, pretending not to know that newspapers are one of the most
profitable industries (and nobody on the Commerce Committee thought
to ask him directly whether he knew that; they only asked him if
he had seen a specific report that said that),
claims that the only way to save newspapers is to let them
buy television stations.
The New York Times published Martin’s op-ed to this effect.
(Today the Times did at least
publish their own editorial criticizing his position.
Meanwhile, three members of the House Judiciary Committee have
an op-ed calling for the impeachment of vice-president Cheney,
and no major newspaper will carry it,
even though one of them, Wexler of Florida,
collected more than 50,000 names for it over one weekend
(up to 77,000 as of this writing).
Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without
newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate
a moment to prefer the latter.
Letter to Nathaniel Macon,
January 12, 1819
What would Jefferson have thought about newspapers that wouldn’t
publish a call for impeachment by members of the committee
that is supposed to bring such charges?
And why, given such a press, is anyone even considering more media
Which is better for the security of the Republic:
more media consolidation or less?