Thursday, May 29, 2003

The Register goes off the deep end

Here's a funny article in The Register decrying the FCC's upcoming decision to relax 20 year old media ownership rules in the face of new technologies like, well, cable television and satellite. The argument is the usual media diversity one, and holds up the recent case of the media whipping Americans "into a state of strenuous flag-idolatry and xenophobia" as an example.

I clearly was living in a different America at the time where the airwaves were filled with Baathist sympathizers, the French, and people complaining that the media had an overpowering leftist bias. Given people's innate tendency to see themselves as right and everyone else as wrong, my guess is that a situation where everyone thinks the media is hopelessly biased and/or stupid is probably about as diverse as you can hope for.

Also, in my world they have invented this neat new technology called the Internet where anyone, anywhere, can publish whatever they want and people can read it or ignore it as they choose. I predict that this will be a boon to small publishers, a few of whom may even be foreign, and increase media diversity to the point where decades old law concocted in highly protectionist circumstances when there were only 4 TV stations can be relaxed. I also anticipate that when this happens, small media outlets, long protected from competition by the law, will complain. But anyone describing the puckish, libertarian Michael Powell's dad as "a Republican appointed by Dubya and an eager plutocrat plaything" is clearly living in a Universe parallel to my own.


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