Saturday, January 24, 2004

George Bush Threatens First Veto On Behalf Of Big Media

It's time to start focusing on Big Media again. Congress has just passed a bill to expand the reach of Big Media, by raising the number of outlets they can own from 35% to 39%, and this after we successfully put down similar efforts by the FCC to raise the limit to 45%.

Yes, "we". The blogosphere was primarily responsible in airing these issues when the FCC ruling came out. Big Media ignored it. No surprise there, and the most compelling argument on our behalf (will the media report on important issues not in its financial self-interest?).

Apparently, this thing got put into the Frankenstein omnibus spending bill because Bush threatened a veto if they didn't put it in. So now we know...George W. Bush is bought off by Big Media (well, many of us already knew that). The vast majority of the American people are not in favor of this action, and stated so in the last go-around. What is George W. Bush thinking, that he'd rather be on the ranch than be reelected?
A veto threat also led GOP leaders to allow media companies to become larger than many lawmakers wanted. House and Senate majorities earlier had voted to oppose a Federal Communications Commission decision permitting a media company to own TV stations reaching 45 percent of the U.S. viewers, up from 35 percent. But GOP leaders, fearing a veto, raised the cap to 39 percent.

Like I said, it's time we start raising the roof on this again (not raising the ownership limit). Paging Lisa English...