fight the spreadsheet

it doesn’t take a genius to notice that the level of diversity in mainstream culture has been plummeting for decades. that’s why anybody with even a shred of taste or the tiniest impatience with being regularly lied to turns away from the slop trough of major-league radio and tv at least some of the time. today’s mainstream radio dial is a howling wasteland of market-researched, demographic-tweaked swill aimed badly at the broadest audience possible. if you don’t believe me, just ask the founder of clear channel, the single most powerful radio and media corporation in the us today, who own over 1,200 radio stations in the us and canada and over 200 concert venues:

If anyone said we were in the radio business, it wouldn’t be someone from our company. We’re not in the business of providing news and information. We’re not in the business of providing well-researched music. We’re simply in the business of selling our customers products. – lowry mays, clearchannel ceo/founder

well, at least the filthy bastards no longer feel the need to put a nice face on it.

when the broadcasting business was born in the 1920s, the us government had this nutty idea that the airwaves were actually owned by the public and that the business of broadcasting had special properties that dictated that it should never be given the same treatment that the oil, steel, telephone, rail and electricity industries were given – that is, we should avoid the steady shrinking of the pool of ownership of stations into a very few powerful monopolies. it would be bad for our country and our method of government. it would be bad for our legitimate culture.

thanks to the us government’s disgraceful pandering to corporate interests over the last fifty years, this reasonable idea is now completely dead. even so, someone very powerful is about to wipe his wing-tips on the corpse.

michael powell, son of us secretary of state colin powell was appointed the head of the federal communications commission based on his special understanding of the delicate relationship between democracy’s health and the state of the mass media, and his vast body of work demonstrating that understanding the fact that he issued from the elite scrotum of colin powell. amazingly, this craven caddy for the corporate golf outing that passes for government protection of our actual, non-commercial culture doesn’t feel that enough is fucking enough already.

on june 2, he plans to lift the last vestiges of those 1920s/1930s restrictions on who can own tv and radio stations, newspapers and cable networks, clearing the way for the total wal-martization of our country’s airwaves. clear channel laying claim to a billion listeners isn’t enough, 1/6 of the world’s population isn’t enough. they need the government to untie their hands?

i want you to get mad. i want you to pound the desk. i want you to use the link below to alert your representatives in congress to this back-door larceny.


i want you to sign this petition because i want enough of our elected representatives to lift their heads up from the coke mirrors and scotch tumblers and strippers’ breasts for long enough to make some kind of noise about this. i want the young mr. powell to step down from “public service” and return to his earlier career as a corporate attorney, crushing lawsuits with deep pockets, like the run-of-the-mill scumbag he is.

props to my strong black brothers mark evans and jeff economy for reminding me about this impending disgrace.

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rob [at] warmowski [dot] com

@warmowski on twitter

Rob’s Bands

Rob Warmowski entry at Chicago Punk Database
1984-89: Defoliants
1991-94: Buzzmuscle
2001-05: San Andreas Fault
2008- : Sirs
2008- : Allende

Rob at Huffington Post

May 2003

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