Democracy in the media? Hardly, let the moguls reign:
The head of the Federal Communications Commission has circulated an ambitious plan to relax the decades-old media ownership rules, including repealing a rule that forbids a company to own both a newspaper and a television or radio station in the same city.
Kevin J. Martin, chairman of the commission, wants to repeal the rule in the next two months — a plan that, if successful, would be a big victory for some executives of media conglomerates.
Among them are Samuel Zell, the Chicago investor who is seeking to complete a buyout of the Tribune Company, and Rupert Murdoch, who has lobbied against the rule for years so that he can continue controlling both The New York Post and a Fox television station in New York.
How does this benefit the average media consumer? It doesn’t, of course. The power of the mogul to control, shift, influence and corrupt the democratic process is beyond doubt. Independent media becomes even more essential. From blogs to indy analysis, hands up those who implicitly trust the Murdoch press, as one example, to tell the truth about issues like Iraq? They have a vested and commercial interest in maintaining endless war.