Patterico's Pontifications

11/8/2010

Sanders to NBC: You Can’t Merge Your Company With One Run by Republicans (Update: Olby Responds and Johnny Dollar Rips Maddow Apart) (UPDATED with Video)

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 5:23 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; send your tips here.]

Update: Olby releases a statement.  He does apologize, but then goes on to deflect any actual responsibility.  I guess that is all you can expect from a pompous blow-hard like him.  Meanwhile, Johnny Dollar takes down Rachel Maddow.  You can read the whole post, or just scroll down to the video.

Yeah, that will leave a mark.

Looks like Bernie Sanders, the only person in Congress willing to admit he is a socialist, needs a refresher course on freedom of expression:

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said he would look to block a merger between NBC and Comcast, citing the decision last week by MSNBC to suspend liberal anchor Keith Olbermann.

Sanders said Comcast’s attempt to acquire NBC from General Electric would result in “another media giant run by a Republican supporter of George W. Bush.”

He does know there is a new president, right?

The Vermont senator, an independent [socialist] who caucuses with Democrats, has loudly criticized MSNBC’s suspension of Olbermann last week for violating company policies when he donated to three Democratic candidates.

The suspension was imposed Friday, and Olbermann will be back on the air  Tuesday night.

Sanders expressed concern that the precedent set by that suspension would result in MSNBC becoming more like Fox News, which is part of the Newscorp empire run by Rupert Murdoch.

Um, how, exactly would it do that?

Liberals complain the coverage by many Newscorp properties tilts to the right, mirroring many of Murdoch’s own opinions.

The senator pointed to Comcast’s COO Stephen B. Burke’s history as a major fundraiser for former President George W. Bush as a reason why the deal, which has drawn criticism from other lawmakers for different reasons, should be blocked.

Notice he doesn’t actually accuse him of doing anything but fundraising.  But its his fear of what the man might do that drives this.

“As Vermont’s senator, I intend to do all that I can do to stop this merger. There already is far too much media concentration in this country,” Sanders said. “We do not need another media giant run by a Republican supporter of George W. Bush. That is the lesson we should learn from the Keith Olbermann suspension.”

Of course he might be able to do this  in large part because of an outdated doctrine allowing the government to exercise more control over broadcasts than the cable/satellite  companies.  So with NBC being a broadcast channel (quick, how many people actually receive channels through a normal antenna on their TV?), they are subject to much greater control than if they were purely a cable or satellite operation.

Whatever arguments there was for the fear of media domination applied best in the “Good Ole Days” when there were three channels and you were the remote, sitting way too close to the screen and following Dad’s instructions: “turn it up!  Try channel 4, try channel 9…  Ah crap Loveboat.  Well, I guess there is nothing better on…”  With 700 billion channels, Netflix instant streaming (on most game consoles, no less), DVD’s, Google Tv debuting, Hulu, YouTube and probably five other things I don’t even know of, the idea that anyone could capture control of the media is antiquated.

In fact, what we have been seeing is not the creation of a monopoly but the end of one.  It used to be the big three networks were the only game in town and they were all left leaning with no options for conservatives.  “The genius of Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes was to have discovered a niche market in American broadcasting,” Charles Krauthammer once observed, “half the American people.”  If liberal dominance was the Thesis, and the appearance of Fox News was the Antithesis, then the possibility of another network trying to scoop up some of that niche must suggest a coming synthesis, where the media is more evenly divided, or maybe even becomes the objective media that it has long claimed to be.  And that surely scares the living crap out of liberals and democrats.  If its just Fox News, they can continue to ignore and marginalize them.  But if its two companies… then the liberal dominance of the media starts to be seriously threatened.

But as suggested by the title, Sanders, in making this threat, has shown that he fundamentally misapprehends to oath of office.  It is not his job to care if the media is mainly liberal or conservative.

As for the courts, if Mr. Sanders succeeds in blocking this merger, maybe it is time for the Supreme Court to revisit its ruling that broadcast media is uniquely subject to government control.  I have long said that if you wondered what life would be like without the FCC’s nannyism, one only need to dial to the all-cable stations.  Channels like FX, A&E, G4, The History Channel, Sci-Fi (I refuse to spell it their new, stupid way), and so on.  Go on, look.  Is it really so awful?  I think our republic can survive having petty tyrants like Sanders defanged.  It is time to restore freedom of expression.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

UPDATE BY PATTERICO: You really owe it to yourself to click on that Johnny Dollar link. But in any event, you really have to watch this video that he put together. It is awesomely entertaining, and just rips MSNBC and Maddow apart. You’ll enjoy every second.

Now go read his post.

Update: Slight update in editing.  Thanks Joshua.

51 Responses to “Sanders to NBC: You Can’t Merge Your Company With One Run by Republicans (Update: Olby Responds and Johnny Dollar Rips Maddow Apart) (UPDATED with Video)”

  1. Why are any of us surprised when a CongressCritter of either House majority starts complaining that the minority party might actually be able to be heard and/or read ?

    The current CongressCritter crop *still* doesn’t seem to have realised that their words were refuted and their deeds were repudiated throughout most of the country on Nov 2 … to paraphrase one of their favourite people, they were refudiated !

    We had the Reform Party with Perot … we now have the Refuse Party with Pelosi/Reid/Obama … and, yes, either pronunciation of the pary name applies pretty much equally accurately …

    Alasdair (e7cb73)

  2. Johnny Dollar’s post was spot on. The idea that they are a “news organization” is laughable, despite their claims of same.

    JD (c8c1d2)

  3. and how does a lunatic who sits with the Democrats figure he will have any power? I doubt Burke is losing sleep over this one.

    steve (116925)

  4. I updated with the video. It is supremely awesome.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  5. I only linked to that in 2 threads this morning ;-)

    JD (c8c1d2)

  6. It is a must-see.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  7. Never heard of Johnny Dollar. How do I keep missing these awesome blogs?

    We don’t have one party government next year. Threatening people can’t conduct business due to political leanings is pretty nasty. A new kind of red scare, I guess.

    Honestly, this is pathetic. The democrats may think these stupid tricks will keep information from the voters, but all it does is ruin the reputation of frauds. Sanders just helped prove the ‘that liberal media’ narrative.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  8. Patterico

    Thanks for the assist on the video.

    Aaron Worthing (b8e056)

  9. Sanders expressed concern that the precedent set by that suspension would result in MSNBC becoming more like Fox News

    Successful?

    malclave (1db6c5)

  10. Will anyone in the “LSM” touch this video or mention it in a post or tweet? With all the professional jealousies out there in journoland this would seem to merit at least a tongue cluck or two even among lefties. Nickles and dimes, baby. For a Rhodes scholar she sure looks stupid.

    elissa (155eea)

  11. Mediamatterz could not be reached for comment. Rumor has it Oliver Willis was having a Turkey leg eating contest, against himself, requiring the assistance of all of the junior and senior fellows at the soros place to keep score.

    JD (c8c1d2)

  12. Hm, clearly Boehlert hasn’t watched Johnny Dollar’s video.

    Here’s my guess as to why O’Reilly had to sit on his hands about Olbermann, and why he’ll have to play dumb about the topic on Monday’s show: The Fox News host can’t rail about Olbermann giving campaign cash to candidates because O’Reilly’s colleagues have done the exact same thing.

    Keep in mind, according to Media Matters’ research, during the 2009-2010 election cycle, more than 30 Fox News players endorsed, raised money, or campaigned for Republican candidates or organizations in more than 600 instances.

    So in arguably the biggest news story involving O’Reilly’s MSNBC nemesis, the Fox News host can’t even touch the topic because all he’ll do is highlight the complete lack of ethics that drive Fox News.

    (and why is it “complete lack of ethics that drive Fox News” rather than allowing employees the freedom to donate to candidates of their choice if there is disclosure? Sort’ve like treating them as adults…)

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  13. Dana – you know, very well, that facts never get in the way of Teh Narrative.

    JD (c8c1d2)

  14. Make of this what you will – from the PEW Research Center (annual project for excellence in journalism)

    Coverage of McCain by FOX – 40% negative stories / 25% positive stories.

    Coverage of Obama by FOX – 40% negative stories / 23% positive stories.

    Coverage of McCain by MSNBC – 72% negative stories / 10% positive stories.

    Coverage of Obama by MSNBC – 12% negative stories / 42% positive stories.

    Please don’t tell me that MSNBC is more balanced then FOX.

    bendover (f77770)

  15. The Supreme Court doesn’t have to revisit its ruling about broadcast media (though that would be nice). Striking down any attempt by Sanders to block this merger will be simple, thanks to his openly admitting that he’s motivated by the content of what he fears Comcast will say on the air. The alleged scarcity of broadcast bandwidth may allow the feds to regulate it on content-neutral grounds to prevent monopolies, but I don’t think that power would extend to preventing several completely unrelated companies from competing for viewers by all taking the same political positions.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  16. JD, I kept trying to comment over at Media Matters to inform them that the narrative is just that but for some reason it wouldn’t let me post a comment… (maybe they’re all busy watching Johnny Dollar’s vid right this minute and they and the site are frozen in abject dismay…)

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  17. #14, wow. And that’s Pew, which is a decidedly lefty group.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  18. Sanders really is an utter loon.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  19. Dana – interesting, that. Yet the trolls continue to claim that the right is an echo chamber. Epistemic closure. If I remember correctly, they didn’t even let Paterico comment over there.

    JD (c8c1d2)

  20. The Vermont senator, an independent [socialist] who caucuses with Democrats, has loudly criticized MSNBC’s suspension of Olbermann last week for violating company policies when he donated to three Democratic candidates.

    Um, how, exactly would it do that?

    I can’t figure out what the antecedent of the word “it” is in that question. The only nouns that it could refer to are “MSNBC” and “suspension”, and neither of them makes sense in the context of the question.

    Joshua (86ed60)

  21. Prolly just a tweak in the system, JD…I don’t believe it was anything other than that. I’m inclined to give the benefit of the doubt. Once.

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  22. It is going to be great when Comcast rips those turds new a-holes for shitty ratings.

    Torquemada (a8a9b2)

  23. Great blog! Will you add me to your blogroll? I’ll add you to mine!

    The Real Polichick (b04251)

  24. Maddow does that earnest look, but after 10 seconds you realize that she’s utterly clueless and has no idea how stupid her rhetoric makes her look.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  25. What is a “fund raising bomb?”

    Torquemada (a8a9b2)

  26. Maddow is a Rhodes Scholar? I guess that institution is going the way of the Nobel Committee.

    Torquemada (a8a9b2)

  27. Rachel Maddow has an arched eyebrow, snark and an education, plus a show on TV that gets less viewership than Nick at Nite.

    Rachel Maddow’s opinions on anything amount to as much as mine.

    I really think the outcome of the last election depended more on the internet much more than has been given credit.

    Ag80 (743fd1)

  28. Ag – Nick at Nite is infinitely more entertaining.

    JD (c8c1d2)

  29. “With 700 billion channels, Netflix instant streaming (on most game consoles, no less), DVD’s, Google Tv debuting, Hulu, YouTube and probably five other things I don’t even know of, the idea that anyone could capture control of the media is antiquated. In fact, what we have been seeing is not the creation of a monopoly but the end of one.”

    Hmmm…

    http://www.freepress.net/ownership/chart/main

    http://www.mediaowners.com/

    http://www.neatorama.com/2008/07/07/who-owns-what-on-television/

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  30. Ah yes, the Marxist outfit, where Mark Lloyd comes form, thank you for playing, you get a copy of the home game

    justin cord (82637e)

  31. Horseshit bogus rationalization. You can’t control what politicians and fund raisers who are interviewed will say.

    Hannity donates $10,000 to one GOP candidate. Fox News donated ONE MILLION dollars to the GOP governors assoc. This video shows nothing, proves nothing.

    Sorry, you lose.

    W (9df40f)

  32. Man, Megyn Kelly is a stunner, isn’t she? I’m going to have to start watching that channel.

    JVW (bf4fc7)

  33. Memo to: K.O.
    Subject: Mister Ed

    Was that your ‘Lifesaver’ statement, Keith? ‘Cause there appear to be holes through the middle of it.

    Put down the Thurber, pick up the Murrow and peruse some of the wordy musings of your hero. One of his more memorable presentations for starts. Parts are dated, part are all too relevant today.

    http://www.rtnda.org/pages/media_items/edward-r.-murrow-speech998.php

    Peers recall the ‘wires and lights in a box’ line. But earlier on, there’s this: “I am entirely persuaded that the American public is more reasonable, restrained and more mature than most of our industry’s program planners believe. Their fear of controversy is not warranted by the evidence. I have reason to know, as do many of you, that when the evidence on a controversial subject is fairly and calmly presented, the public recognizes it for what it is–an effort to illuminate rather than to agitate.”

    Try decaf, too.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  34. Murrow was a chain-smoker, so that also probably helped him stay calm.

    JVW (bf4fc7)

  35. This video shows nothing, proves nothing…
    Comment by W — 11/8/2010 @ 10:08 pm

    Well, it certainly proves that MSNBC anchors as well as other TV hosts assist in and promote fundraising for democratic candidates. Also that Rachel Maddow is a class-A hypocrite.

    Try decaf, too.

    Comment by DCSCA — 11/8/2010 @ 10:48 pm

    Heh.

    no one you know (72db9b)

  36. #30. You can’t control what politicians and fund raisers who are interviewed will say.

    Precisely. And since her only example of on-air fundraising on FOX was a clip of John Kasich directing viewers to his web site and suggesting that they give him any “nickels or dimes” they care to, you’ve just conceded that her entire case is bogus.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  37. “Sanders really is an utter loon.”

    He’s just like any other commie ratbag. He wants a state controlled media with guys like him controlling the state.

    Dave Surls (0f964b)

  38. Looks like Yelverton has been instructed to utilize the ostrich defense by his masters at mediamatterz.

    JD (306f5d)

  39. W

    > You can’t control what politicians and fund raisers who are interviewed will say.

    You do know that maddow argued that fox was bad, bad, bad because of one politician getting away with that on hannity’s show, right?

    Aaron Worthing (b1db52)

  40. No, it does not know that, AW. That would require Yelverton to be a sentient being. There is no evidence of same. There is ample evidence that it is a gender bending racist midget hilljack talking point output generator.

    JD (109425)

  41. Let’s take, for example, the leftist lie that Fox News gave a million bucks to the Rep Gov Assoc. It is demonstrably false, since that money was given by NewsCorp, the parent company of FoxNews. You see no commensurate wailing and gnashing of teeth and rending of garments on the left of the spending habits of GE and Immelt.

    JD (109425)

  42. “This video shows nothing”

    Well, it shows that Rachel Maddow is a pathological liar…but, everyone already knew that.

    Dave Surls (0f964b)

  43. But JD! Remember how smug and happy and successful Our Yelverton is, panpipes and all!

    He doesn’t sound that way.

    Eric Blair (945cb3)

  44. “Remember how smug and happy and successful Our Yelverton is…”

    Welfare checks just came out last week, so all the lefties still have money.

    Dave Surls (0f964b)


  45. Sci-Fi (I refuse to spell it their new, stupid way)

    Good for you, though I personally suspect it’s because they couldn’t “TM” Sci-Fi, while they can “TM” Sy-Fy.

    I only wish sports “journalists” had the kind of massive balls it takes to just call it the “Orange Bowl” instead of the “Sponsor1 Orange Bowl At Sponsor2 Field, courtesy Sponsor3″ — EVERY FLINKIN’ TIME THEY SAY IT.

    IgotBupkis (9eeb86)

  46. I am surprised you didn’t comment on this quote you listed in the article: “We do not need another media giant run by a Republican supporter of George W. Bush. That is the lesson we should learn from the Keith Olbermann suspension.”

    Keith Olbermann was suspended by a Bush supporter at MSNBC? Who would have thunk it….. a Bush supporter at MSNBC.

    John B (8479c8)

  47. IgotBupkis: The Syfy network did indeed say that one of the reasons they wanted to change the name from “Sci Fi” to “Syfy” was that they would be able to own “Syfy” as a trademark.

    The network president, David Howe, said that Syfy “is a name we can trademark. We will be moving into digital and mobile platforms and games. We needed a way to own that name and get credit for it.”

    Joshua (9ede0e)

  48. That Missa Maddow she’s a bad person, sure. Also, she be not kind to my Republican friends, and those they don’t like Republicans hey, I not like ‘em either.

    Allen West (66746e)

  49. igot

    yeah, that is exactly what the change of name is about. i mean they claim it is about being hip, etc. but then someone mentions its about trademarkability.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  50. Paul Maddow is a real man. He is the star. O’Donnell is just a bit weird, yet employed. Olbie is a psych case, out of touch with reality and full of herself.
    Losers all. Comcast had better clean house or they lose out. Investing in this bunch is a loser deal. What was Comcast thinking if not to clean house and make a real network?

    Thom (3d6445)

  51. The senator pointed to Comcast’s COO Stephen B. Burke’s history as a major fundraiser for former President George W. Bush as a reason why the deal… should be blocked.

    Did Sanders have any complaints in 2004 when Newscorp COO Peter Chernin made campaign appearances with John Kerry?

    NOTE: Chernin was COO till he left in 2009. Murdoch was and is CEO.

    Rich Rostrom (f7aeae)


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