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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000824.txt from 2003/06

From: Jeremy A Schiffer <schiffer@-----.edu>
Subj: RE: [kl] Political postings - ON topic?
Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2003 18:02:43 -0400

On Tue, 24 Jun 2003, Bill Hausmann wrote:

> 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.

No. You seriously misunderestimate the level of domestic spying that 9/11
ushered into our lives. The Village Voice has had several articles
detailing the level of spying - on citizens - that is now happening within
our country. One frightening example was the interrogation of people
arrested at a non-violent anti-war rally in NYC; they were asked about
their memberships in clubs and organization, what policital party they're
a member of, etc. It's like a replay of Hoover's FBI infiltrating civil
rights and religious groups.

> but I seriously doubt they wielded anywhere NEAR as much power and
> influence in the market as you think.

Clear Channel? Between them and Infinity Broadcasting, most markets have
no other media. This isn't opinion; this is fact.

> 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.

If you don't have any other options, as most markets don't, what do you do
then?

> >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.

Ugh. In my attempt to be non-partisan, I muddied the point. Clear Channel
gives money primarily to the Republican party, not the rhetorical "party
in power." They also sponsored many (as in, essentially every one) of the
"support our troops" rallies that were set up to drown out the anti-war
voices before the battles in Iraq started. Not political? Then why do they
attempt to silence opposition to the current political regime? Maybe
because the CEO is a close personal friend of a Mr. GW Bush?

> 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.

Talk radio is different from popular music, but has still been affected
significantly by media consolidation. My brother had several internships
with a station in Tucson, Arizona in the mid 1990's. After his last one,
the station (790 KNST sports/talk) was bought by Clear Channel and all of
the local on-air personalities were fired and replaced by syndicated
shows. That this did not happen to your local station is out of the
ordinary; consider yourself very lucky that you still have real local
news.

You may even recall an incident last year in Minot, North Dakota, when a
train derailed, releasing toxic chemicals (ammonium compounds) into the
air. When the police tried to contact the local radio stations, all six
owned by Clear Channel, they found that all were being run remotely, with
no one in the studio, so they had no way of alerting the public by
activating the Emergency Broadcast System. This isn't hypothetical, or
paranoid. One person died and 300 were injured in this one incident,
partly because it took several hours to locate the 1 employee (for all six
stations) who actually lives in North Dakota.

-jeremy
http://klezmer.org

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