Bipartisan love for media corporations.

Looking at the Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center’s website, I came across a link to this cartoon. One of the bubbles (ostensibly read by a Sinclair corporation newsreader) reads “This program comes courtesy of a company that stands to profit handsomely from media consolidation efforts supported by the incumbent [President Bush].”. But history shows there is bipartisan support for raising the caps on media ownership.

In the 1996 Telecommunications Act media ownership caps were raised. These ownership caps were more famously raised again in June, 2003 when the Republican-led FCC held a meeting. According to an interview on Democracy Now! which aired shortly before the June 2003 FCC meeting, Los Angeles lost 90% of its childrens TV programming as a result of the Clinton-time media ownership limit raising.

The Left has been railing against the Republicans for the 2003 media ownership cap, but they’ve been curiously silent about the Clinton-time effort in the same direction. Why is this?

Perhaps both major parties are more interested in placating their corporate campaign contributors than many on the Left are willing to admit during election time. I think this is one of the reasons a growing segment of registered American voters choose not to vote—mutual disgust with being shoehorned into a false dichotomy where both choices are unappealing.

If the Democrats cared, they could run a truly progressive candidate for office and leverage that disgust into electoral victory.