Adelphia Deal Helps Minorities, Blind Children

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With the comment deadline for Time Warner/Comcast's purchase of the bankrupt Adelphia only days away (July 21), the merger is getting the kind of support tailor-made to deflect media activist criticisms that it is a common man-crushing case of big media vs. the little guy or gal.

At press time the two most recent letters in support of the merger came from the Black Leadership Forum, a "confederation of civil rights and service organizations," and by the National Braille Press (NBP), which promotes "the literacy of blind children."

The forum says the cost-cutting and "improved efficiencies" of the deal will allow the companies to "increase investments in attractive programming (including new programming to attact African American consumers)."

NBP says its decision to back the merger "was an easy one," saying a bankrupt company was being bought by two "strong and successful companies which have shown conisistent and steadfast support for the visually impaired." For example, without Comcast, the groups says, "thousands of children would not have adequate reading material in braille."

NBP also points out that "we understand that Comcast's Cable in the Classroom initiative has provided free cable TV to almost 17,000 schools and free high-speed internet to approximately 7,250 schools and 1,500 libraries."

And what prompted these strong shows of support: "Because the opponents to the transaction are organizing opposition from their groups [those comments are due Aug. 5], we have also reached out to ask our friends (such as these groups) for support," said a Comcast spokesperson.

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