On 'On the Media'


Having apparently run out of people to ask, NPR’s On the Media staffers gave me a shot at pontificating on the media landscape last week, specifically the issues of multiple-dwelling units and localism issues.

I have concluded that I have a voice for print and a face for radio, but, it’s too late now, so the former is on display as a podcast on the On the Media Web site.

At press time, my podcast had drawn the following comment:


Thank god. I have been stuck with one cable company for the past couple of years, Direcpath, and I want more services, more choices. Thank you FCC, now I can have it.


After hearing your podcast I wrote the FCC:

The concentration of media ownership in an ever small (sic) number of corporate hands is contrary to the welfare of the people, the democratic ideals and institutions of our nation. It is a direct threat to the principles and practice of the first amendment to the Constitution.

Far too little has been done to uphold the welfare of the nation by this collection of and other recent collections of Commissioner (sic) of this body and it an insult to all that is sacred in that Constitution.

Some years ago, I was able to use the license renewal process and, by extension, simple access to the public file of a local television station to hold them accountable for inadequate and unfair coverage of community events and, in that case, the campaign of a small third party in a local election.

Since they were required to pay a staffer to assure the security of the file during my examination, even the brief period I used as an example of the damage I could do to their payroll proved adequate in getting them to cover an event they would have preferred to pretend hadn’t existed – a protest of S. African tennis pros who had failed to keep a promise to speak out against their country’s then-policy of Apartheid at the city’s tennis tournament.

According to my understanding of a recent Bill Moyer’s Journal assessment of the current situation, this tactic may well no longer be viable.

Shame on you. 

I think that "shame" was meant for the FCC rather than me, but I can’t be sure.