Remember back in the good old days when Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow were must see TV for liberals and progressives? There was finally someone on a relatively accessible cable or network news that well articulated our view of the world. After the hard turn to the right by media starting in the Reagan years that was pretty well finished with the invasion of Iraq by the Bush administration anyone with liberal leanings was hard to find.
During those years DemocracyNow! was born, but on the infamous mainstream media, liberal voices were few and hard to find. DemocracyNow! is consigned to little known cable station known as FreeSpeechTV and Link TV.
NBC, parent company of MSNBC, has gone through a series of corporate takeovers being owned in succession by GE, Universal Studios and now Comcast. Comcast is a well-known conservative corporation.
MSNBC after letting Phil Donohue go following the Iraq invasion, rehired Keith Olbermann to fill the slot. Thus began a love affair between the left and the very outspoken Olbermann. Olbermann’s Countdown show spawned shows hosted by Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Donnell which in turn spawned other shows including Melissa Harris-Perry’s now defunct show. Ed Schultz and the Reverend Al Sharpton also had shows spawned from this little incubator. Sharpton’s show is a ghost of itself, Schultz is long gone. As corporate takeovers happened, MSNBC moved right.
For a short period of time liberals could turn to MSNBC as a corner of the media that wasn’t slanted greatly to the right. Current TV also came along to expand that selection and offer some competition. Competition makes products better. On the radio dial Air America was making an attempt to cut into right wing’s iron grip on the radio market and what was becoming pablum from NPR.
Fast forward to today and much of that little progressive niche is gone. What is left often seems much less robust. FreeSpeechTV is still out there as is Link TV, but sadly few cable companies carry them. DemocracyNow! goes on with its great work. In the mainstream media, however, the right pretty much owns everything. Many expect what little that is still out there won’t last much longer as Comcast squeezes its talent.
So for those of us who would like our news and discussions from sources that are not slanted right the internet is about the only place left where we can go. Many people in America use the internet as their main source of information, since the other media offer basically one version of information. Right now an open and neutral internet is the firewall between the US and a media totally controlled by corporations. Corporations control commercial terrestrial radio almost 100%, there are few independent newspapers in this country, and only a few independent magazines. Add these to a nearly fully controlled TV and it becomes obvious that controlling the internet is a major goal for corporate America.
Don’t forget that one of the most aggressive corporations to end net neutrality is Comcast . Who knows how many lawsuits they have filed to overturn the FCC ruling of last year.
We have an election coming up. One of the major issues that has risen to the top is who will be nominating justices for the SCOTUS as age and infirmity takes a toll on current members. But what may be as big of an issue is who will nominate the next chair of the FCC. The FCC is a 5 member board with two Republicans and two Democrats and a chair chosen by the president.
It is hardly a secret that if a Republican is elected the then Republican chair and the two other Republican members will end net neutrality in a New York minute. Then corporations will control access to all sources of news in this country with exception of a few outlying corners.
Even if a Democrat is elected president but Republicans continue to control both houses of congress you can expect meddling into net neutrality to as great of a degree as is possible by congress. No matter what happens you can expect constant attacks on net neutrality through the court system. Corporations have deep pockets for such judicial challenges. And unlike real persons like you and I, corporations don’t die and seldom move on to other things.
If you know someone who is balking at voting, ask them how much they like their internet. Maybe that will get their attention.