Nov
21

Uh, Which Beast Were We Supposed To Starve?

By

You know, you raise these corporate critters from seedlings. They bring you success. Lots of cool stuff. Shiny. Pretty. All they want is a little blood, after all. And besides, you’re in charge. Right? Then one day it’s, “Feed me, Seymour!

Verizon sure looks hungry. Via The Hill


Three top Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee wrote a letter to their colleagues on Friday, calling attention to a “troubling” constitutional argument Verizon has made in its bid to overturn net-neutrality regulations.

Democratic Reps. Henry Waxman (Calif.), Anna Eshoo (Calif.) and Edward Markey (Mass.) warned that Congress’s power to regulate the communications industry would be severely restricted if the court accepts Verizon’s claim that the net-neutrality regulations violate its First Amendment free speech rights.

“Although this First Amendment issue is being raised by Verizon in the context of the Open Internet Order, there is no apparent limit to the company’s claim,” the lawmakers wrote. “If the court accepts Verizon’s argument, the role of Congress in enacting communications policy through power granted by the Commerce Clause — including efforts to protect consumers and promote competition in contexts far removed from the Open Internet rules themselves — could be radically undermined.”

Say, why shouldn’t Verizon have free speech rights? And freedom — from oversight? Freedom to screw its customers?

Speaking of hungry, media giants have to eat if they want to grow big and strong. Why shouldn’t a News Corp. veteran run the LA Times and the Chicago Tribune too?

Peter Liguori, a former top executive at News Corp. and Discovery Communications, is expected to be named chief executive of Tribune Co. after the company emerges from bankruptcy, according to people familiar with the matter.

[...]

Tribune cleared a final regulatory hurdle Friday when the Federal Communications Commission granted waivers that pave the way for transfers of Tribune broadcast licenses to the eventual new owners of the company, a group led by Oaktree Capital Management, Angelo Gordon & Co. and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

The FCC’s staff issued the waivers of its so-called cross-ownership rules, which restrict newspapers from combining with television and radio stations in the same market.

[...]

Tribune, which has been in bankruptcy for almost four years, owns the Los Angeles Times and KTLA-TV Channel 5 in Los Angeles, along with the Chicago Tribune, WGN radio and television stations and other newspapers and television stations throughout the country. The 23 TV stations are considered the most valuable part of the company.

Why shouldn’t News Corp 2 control multiple news outlets in the same market? These guys are better even than real estate developers. They only have to abide by regulations when they feel like it. And when they don’t, they get waivers with a wink and a nod.

Why shouldn’t the mis-managers at Hostess get $1.75 million in bonuses while asking 18,500 employees for more blood? Why shouldn’t beasts like these be able to buy elections? And frack your water supply and gobble up more of the commons?

You don’t know what you’re messing with. And it looks like you’ve been had.


Categories : Corruption, Economy

Comments

  1. Here’s my recent Verizon experience:
    I had a droid phone that died. Not a surprise.
    I tried to get one of my four lines “upgraded”, which is when you sign up for a new two year contract in exchange for a subsidized purchase price on the new phone.
    The I-phone 4S, the one I was going to get, is now $110.00. Cheap by comparison, now that the 5 is out.
    But, my account is another month from being upgrade capable. No amount of “What part of ‘this is good for your business’ do you not understand?” would shake them from this position.
    The unsubsidized price for the now outdated I-phone 4 is $650.00.
    So, I was left with the choice of spending an extra $550.00 for the luxury of the phone I wanted, or re-activate an old phone, which is what I did.
    Now, in the meantime, I’m paying the data connection fee for a smart phone, while I’m temporarily using a dumb phone. But do you think I can get that waived? Nope. That’s my plan and they are sticking to it.
    So, they are charging me for a cell phone plan they are also refusing to sell me the technology to make use of, unless I want to pay the super-retail price for the phone.
    I am now investigating the options for using skype for everything form now on. I may never sign another long term contract for phone services again if I can help it.
    The rest of the world does not work this way. Why is it that America has become the place where the consumer is just another corporate asset to be used to best advantage?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2

  2. Tom Sullivan says:

    From the Brad Blog:

    There is a little known ritual that occurs in the election years when Democrats prevail: Big “Conservative” Media starts to pull progressive talk radio off the air.

    I documented this in my 2009 documentary film, Broadcast Blues: after Democratic candidates made big gains in 2006, Clear Channel and other public airwaves radio licensees pulled several well performing progressive talk radio stations off the air, and replaced them with sports and other programming. It would be easier to understand if the new programs got big ratings bumps, but that didn’t happen. The new shows’ ratings are typically only half those of Progressive Talkers.

    True to form, Clear Channel Communications, which owns about 850 radio stations nationwide, took the Progressive voices off of the public airwaves in Portland, Oregon just days after Democrats won big nationwide. When devoted listeners tuned in to Portland’s 620 AM, they expected to hear Thom Hartmann, Mike Malloy and other Progressives waxing exuberant in the wake of this year’s election results and looking forward to new possibilities in the new session of Congress under a wildly popular re-elected President. Instead, they heard fans exuberant over some football game or other. FoxSports620 now broadcasts over that 25,000 watt frequency on our public airwaves.

    KPTK in Seattle (CBS) joined Portland’s 620 AM with announcement days later. And as of this afternoon, WTDY in Madison, WI (Midwest Family Broadcasting) joins followed suit.

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  3. TJ says:

    tsk, tsk, Jeff. Don’t you know you can upgrade your iPhone 4 and it will have the same features as the 5? Oh, and, it’s a little i ;-) (Sorry, but, I couldn’t help it).

    Call it naïveté, but, I’m still baffled how we go into bankruptsy, or, get a foreclosure, or, repo, and we have to suffer the penalties for at least 10 years. Big businesses get a “get out of jail free card” and more money to burn.

    Oh, and, as Romney complained about folks feeling entitled, the big boys are getting handouts in the form of bailouts. So. Basically, if you are rich, you can get a handout. If you’re poor, or average, go stand in line, and get demeaned along the way, because you don’t want to leave home on Thanksgiving Day to serve your corporate master??!!

    On top of that, Occupiers get all varieties of responses, and, many, to shut it down and disrupt our free speech rights, but, the big money guys have free speech that we paid for?

    Wow! I think in 7 minutes I will spend the 24 hour time frame being thankful that I can still be baffled by human folly and absurdity, and that, as a therapist, my job security is pretty well cemented in.

    I’m also thankful for y’all here on ScruHoo, for all the fascinating (and, some less than fascinating) posts and comments. Thanks for tolerating me, and not letting the blog go over the cliff in absurd ways, bloggui included.

    Enjoy the fam, or, just enjoy the day. I sure as hell hope no one goes lining up tomorrow at 8 pm. If we are not already grateful each and every day, let’s at least have one FULL day.

    Oh, and Tom, since corporations share our personhood, OF COURSE they get free speech! I just think it should then be free. To all of us. So, no more bills, etc. Then, they can have all the “free” speech they want. As long as our dollars line their pockets, forget it.

    I still have a hard time picture God creating a corporation. David did a cartoon once with the “God particles,” I’d like to see one where he creates the money stealers.

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  4. TJ says:

    Oh, Jeff, if you can unlock your iPhone, you can get prepaid service for 45.00/mo, unlimited everything. Used to be good for folks with bad credit. I cancelled my Sprint service after 10+ years, for that very same stupidity over not waiving 3 weeks to upgrade a phone…the “valued customer” I was. Prepaid phones are not great, but, they’re okay with replacing one if it’s messed up. And, if it’s lost/stolen, fraud is avoided.

    So, Tom or Jeff, one of you guys offering up the Thanksgiving thread for thanks this year? I’ve never forgotten Andrew’s last year. It’d be great to see more words of thanks and wisdom from all the Hooligans and visiting commenters.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1