Thursday, August 05, 2004

KERRY NOT FIT? I CALL BULLSHIT a vote for Bush is a vote against yourself...

From New York Times today:

Adm. Roy F. Hoffman, who is retired and who says in the advertisement, "John
Kerry has not been honest," acknowledged that the men in the advertisement did
not serve on Mr. Kerry's boat
, but he said their time in parallel boats on
coordinated missions, or as Mr. Kerry's superiors, made them valid commentators
on his record. The group provided station managers with a 13-page memorandum,
backed up by more than 60 pages of sworn statements, book excerpts and military

"We were on the same operations, we were operating within 25-50
yards of him all the time, and for them to suggest we don't know John Kerry is
pure old bull," Mr. Hoffman said. "He has made this the centerpiece of this
campaign, and we just don't think he's qualified to be the commander in chief of
the armed forces. We have every right to be heard."

Ye gods, man! Is your bullshit detector going apeshit?

Why does voluntary service in Vietnam disqualify Kerry from being commander in chief while never serving under fire and being a deserter make Bush God's Own Warrior? The hypocrisy of these people is beyond the pale.

And Kerry Will Have Him For Dessert...

Notice I called Bush a deserter. That's right--your'e not supposed to say that or you're an "extremist." As long as Republicraps keep saying Kerry and Edwards are the first and fourth most liberal senators, Bush will be known as a deserter.

I don't give a flying FUCK about whether calling a sitting president a deserter is appropriate or not. He didn't finish out his service, so he's a dirty motherfucking deserter. If that's the way these Swift Boat Veterans For Being Lying Sacks Of Shit want to play the game, OK. We'll play that shit. And bring it on...if you want blood, you got it!!

So under the rules they want to play by, Bush can fairly be called a war criminal for ordering an illegal invasion of a sovereign nation. And he can be deemed a threat to the peace of the world and yes, he can fairly said to be using tactics perfected by the Nazis to turn our democratic country into a fascist hell-hole.

That's the Hannity/Limbaugh game. They win every time because it seems no pundit on the left will take them on toe to toe except Michael Moore. And Michael Moore doesn't have a radio show 5 days a week and/or a radio and a TV show 5 days a week. That's how the righties win--it's all you ever hear or see or read.

Bring Back The Fairness Doctrine, Please...

FCC Commissioner Michael Copps was on "Washington Journal" this morning and he gave a rousing defense of the protection of the "people's airwaves" vs. the "free market." He pointed out that broadcasters since the inception of broadcasting have been tasked with public service as well as making a profit on their efforts.

Part of that public service was always seen as providing equal time to differing political points of view. Not time dictated by the vagaries of the market, mind you, but equal time given in the public interest. That was always a part of the requirement in having an FCC license.

However, the Fairness Doctrine was done away with in 1987. And it gave rise to Rush Limbaugh, who said just today on the radio that his program is entering its 17th year as of last week or so. And Rush begat all the other conservative talkers which of course were popular, as they quickly became more or less the only kind of talkers on the air. And since there was no more Fairness Doctrine to require opposing points of view to be given equal time, the rightwing echo chamber got a lot bigger and a lot louder. That is perhaps the ultimate gift of the Reagan years to the ultra-conservative faction of the Republican party--the gift that keeps on giving.

And the conventional wisdom became that liberal points of view are out of step with most Americans. After all, just sample the programs on the radio--there's no liberal talk show (or very few), one might have argued as that conventional wisdom was being consolidated.

However, that argument is like saying that because people love vapid teen pop, that's all that radio stations will play. The irony of that argument is that if the current radio wasteland situation were reversed and most radio stations played nothing but bebop jazz and those artists were featured in prime time TV shows and written about in glossy magazines available at every checkout stand in America, and only low-power public radio stations played Britney Spears and JoJo, the argument would more than likely would be that radio doesn't play teen pop because people love bebop. So it's all a matter of what people become used to, what their environment looks and sounds like.


And what people have become used to is the idea that conservative ideas are mainstream and shared by all real Americans while liberal ideas are all way at the margins and only shared by Commies and child molesters. But the situation that this article on the Fairness Doctrine describes no longer exists:

By the 1980s, many things had changed. The "scarcity" argument which dictated
the "public trustee" philosophy of the Commission, was disappearing with the
abundant number of channels available on cable TV. Without scarcity, or with
many other voices in the marketplace of ideas, there were perhaps fewer
compelling reasons to keep the fairness doctrine
. This was also the era of
deregulation when the FCC took on a different attitude about its many rules,
seen as an unnecessary burden by most stations. The new Chairman of the FCC,
Mark Fowler, appointed by President Reagan, publicly avowed to kill to fairness

In the 80s, when cable was a relatively new thing, it may have seemed like there would be as many political opinions as there were cable channels available to the public. We now know that this has not turned out to be the case, as there are now only three major channels devoted to news--Fox, MSNBC, and CNN. And as has been shown in study after study, the overwhelming number of opinion pieces/guests that appear fall under the rubric of conservatism or stand in general agreement with conservative rhetoric (here is a study on the run-up to the Iraq war, and here is an assessment of Election 2000 coverage.)


Why Clinton didn't reinstate the Fairness Doctrine is beyond me, given all the trouble he endured from the deregulated media. In fact, he deregulated it a little more with the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the law that has helped Clear Channel (headquartered in Texas physically and ideologically) get its stranglehold on the radio industry.

Bush has deregulated further with current FCC chairman Michael Powell ramming through new rules about media ownership. Even though the rules were rescinded this year by the U.S. Court of Appeals in Philadelphia, the conservative free-marketeers would still like to see consolidation be allowed.

Whether the kind of consolidation allowed by those overturned rules ever comes to pass, the media are becoming more consolidated through corporate mergers. And that's why I would argue that the "scarcity" problem that supposedly has ceased to exist in the 80s has come back in a different form and that's why the Fairness Doctrine needs to be made law, and the sooner the better.

Meant to write more but again it's late and this computer is acting up...

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