Here’s a conspiracy theory for you: the right wing is consolidating power over media to suppress our free speech rights and promote only their own agenda.
Oh, yes, we still all have free speech rights. If we want to stand on a street corner and express our opinions. But CEOs who are friends and fellow travelers with the Bush gang are the ones who control access to the public airwaves, and are cleansing them to suit their own agenda. Case in point: the recent removal of Howard Stern from Clear Channel radio stations.
Stern’s loyal listeners, Clear Channel foes and many Bush administration critics immediately reached the same conclusion: The notorious jock was yanked off the air because he had recently begun trashing Bush, and Bush-friendly Clear Channel used the guise of “indecency” to shut him up. That the content of Stern’s crude show hadn’t suddenly changed, but his stance on Bush had, gave the theory more heft. That, plus his being pulled off the air in key electoral swing states such as Florida and Pennsylvania.
This week, Stern himself went on the warpath, weaving in among his familiar monologues about breasts and porn actresses accusations that Texas-based Clear Channel — whose Republican CEO, Lowry Mays, is extremely close to both George W. Bush and Bush’s father — canned him because he deviated from the company’s pro-Bush line. “I gotta tell you something,” Stern told his listeners. “There’s a lot of people saying that the second that I started saying, ‘I think we gotta get Bush out of the presidency,’ that’s when Clear Channel banged my ass outta here.
Commenters at Go Fish made a few prescient remarks:
Clear Channel still carries Michael Savage, the guy that got suspended from most radio stations after telling a gay man “I hope you get AIDS and die” on the air.
Amazing how no one is moving to censor the comments of such bastions of journalism like Bill O’Reilly or Rush Limbaugh.
The FCC, now run by Michael Powell, has been taking steps ever since the beginning of the Bush regime to allow large, Republican-operated media corporations like Clear Channel to consolidate their power and own more and more stations, crowding out any independent media or alternative voices. Plus, with the bizarre turning point of the Reagan movie and the Janet Jackson boobie incident, CBS/Viacom have quickly become bastions of conservative morality, which is oozing out toward ABC (which put the Oscars on a 5 second delay) and NBC (which excised a glimpse of an elderly woman’s breast on a repeat ER — which, incidentally, did not bother anyone on it’s first airing).
A conspiracy? Think for yourself, do a little research, and get back to me.