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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000823.txt from 2003/06

From: Bill Hausmann <bhausmann1@-----.net>
Subj: RE: [kl] Political postings - ON topic?
Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2003 17:30:21 -0400

At 03:53 PM 6/24/2003 -0400, you wrote:
>On Tue, 24 Jun 2003, Bill Hausmann wrote:
>
> > You are mistaken in your assumption that the White House or any other
> > governmental agency in the US can censor artistic expression. The nearest
> > to that which can be achieved is denial of government FUNDING for a work,
> > and even THAT will be fought over in the courts for years.
>
>But there are myriad ways that government officials can put pressure on
>institutions to lead to "self-censorship." For example, let's say someone
>does write the OBL symphony, and an orchestra agrees to play it. What
>happens when the federal government sends 500 agents to interrogate
>everyone who comes to the box office to buy a ticket, and takes down their
>name, address, social security number, and place of employment? No, it's
>not government censorship, but the idea is clear - if you support this, we
>know who you are, and we are watching you. Would you risk your job to buy
>a ticket to a concert? I wouldn't, and I don't think most people would.
>
>While this example is a little dramatic, things like this happen all the
>time in our (American) society.

I think the paranoids are out to get you. I used to work in Intelligence
for the military. Granted, that specifically excluded DOMESTIC
intelligence gathering, but still it was clear that there is no way they
have the time or even the inclination to watch people as closely as you
believe.

> > For example, when the Dixie Chicks made their incredible faux
> > pas, it was not the GOVERNMENT who rebuked them, but their own fans (and
> > non-fans, whose opinion really did not matter, since it cost them
> > nothing).
>
>This point is not explicitly correct. The boycott of the Dixie Chicks was
>not organized by fans, or non-fans, but by corporate media giants like
>Clear Channel (the company that owns nearly half of all popular music
>radio stations in America). There were many reports of DJ's having their
>jobs threatened by the corporate management for playing the Dixie Chicks
>after the no-play edict was issued.

And what of the OTHER half? Of course, the world would be no worse off for
the temporary reduction of Dixie Chicks music in the world, but I seriously
doubt they wielded anywhere NEAR as much power and influence in the market
as you think. If listeners left their stations to listen to the boycotted
performers on OTHER, non-boycotting stations instead, costing them market
share, they would abandon their "no-play edict" in a heartbeat! Corporate
broadcasters are ruled by finances, not politics.

>When you acknowledge the fact that these media giants pay millions of
>dollars to political parties and election candidates, it is naive to
>assume there will be no quid pro quo (and yes, Clear Channel gives
>boatloads of money to politicians, especially to the party currently in
>power).

Precisely! They are not political. They will cultivate WHOEVER has the
power to affect their bottom line.

>Stockholders win, the public loses. Have you turned on a radio since 1996
>(the year Clear Channel and Infiniti Broadcasting got their wish and the
>Telecommunications Act was passed that deregulated the industry)? It's
>become less local (programming is done nationally, with local staffs being
>drastically reduced), more homogeneous in terms of content, and has more
>commercials. If this is the free market, count me out.

I listen regularly to a LOCAL news and talk station, and Public Radio at
other times. The local station has been bought and sold several times
while I have been a listener, with little noticeable difference in content
or quality. Media companies covet it because it is an award-winning,
highly rated station. If they tried to change it into something else, it
would be stupid.

Bill Hausmann

If you have to mic a saxophone, the rest of the band is TOO LOUD!

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