Big Media backs Bush: The Big Three networks that brought us ads featuring farting horses, spray douches, and hemorrhoid ointment are refusing to air paid advertisements for the DVD release of anti-Bush flick Fahrenheit 9/11 during news or morning-show time slots (when most adults tune in)--effectively stifling commercial free speech for political reasons. According to a spokesperson at Sony, F/911's distributor, "They said explicitly they were reluctant because of the closeness of the release to the election. All three networks said no." Nikki Finke writes in LA Weekly:
Yet here is more bile rising in our throats as Big Media does yet another favor for Dubya. At the very least the networks managed to delay Fahrenheit 9/11’s DVD ads for several weeks by claiming they had to consult their attorneys to make sure the ads didn’t fall under the Federal Election Commission rules governing electioneering communications - a bunch of laughable hooey, especially considering the armadas of attorneys already on network payrolls keeping the Election Commission at bay. And speaking of lawyers, how interesting that Big Media spent so much time spanking - or, worse, ignoring - Kitty Kelley’s newly released The Family that dares to criticize the Bushies. When, by contrast, the networks fell all over themselves basically promoting the bejesus out of that swift-boat book of half-truths and full lies, Unfit for Command. As if, in some parallel universe, the lawyers for Kelley’s publisher, Doubleday/Random House, are inferior to those of the Swifties’ Regnery Publishing.

Where is the level playing field? Gone, thanks to the shenanigans of Big Media. Nor is it an exaggeration to state that the networks increasingly look like they’re doing everything possible to help George W. win re-election. At least that wily old codger Sumner Redstone had the balls to come out this weekend and say what everyone already knows is true: "There has been comment upon my contribution to Democrats like Senator Kerry. Senator Kerry is a good man. I’ve known him for many years. But it happens that I vote for Viacom. Viacom is my life, and I do believe that a Republican administration is better for media companies than a Democratic one."

Like, duh! Who else but Dubya and his FCC frown posse, led by Michael Powell, is never going to meet one media merger after another they didn’t like? And in return for all that conglomeration and consolidation, all Big Broadcasters have to do is fork over minor fines whenever they deflower the virgin ears and eyes of the public.

And with more money to spend on political ads this election year (hell, every election year), the Republicans are helping Big Media climb out of their recession-caused red ink. As Broadcasting & Cable reported this month, ad spending in markets across the country is "flat to down" this year. But thanks to all those GOP attack ads against Kerry and his own spots to defend against them, ad spending, especially in the battleground states, is "through the roof," up 14 percent to 15 percent.
Read Finke's full story here.

Clear Channel: "Don't vote." Here in Minneapolis, a new billboard campaign bears a red, white, and blue encouragement: "Don't vote." Described as a teaser billboard--the first ad, aimed to shock, will be replaced with a new one on October 11, revealing that it's really just another ad for a radio station morning show or new restaurant. But city officials question the timing and location of the billboards, owned by rightwing media conglomerate Clear Channel Communications: of the 15 billboards, several appear in neighborhoods with the city's highest concentration of minorities. The NAACP is reportedly looking into it.

Red Fox: Fox News runs a web story that dedicates some 250 words to a group identified as Kerry supporters--Communists for Kerry (an editor's note now says Fox inadvertently listed the group as supporting Kerry rather than opposing him). A feeble copycat of Billionaires for Bush, a "communists" spokesperson is quoted as saying, ""We're trying to get Comrade Kerry elected and get that capitalist enabler George Bush out of office." (Via Atrios.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We are thankful that although you mention the Billionaires for Bush and the "Don't Vote" Clear Channel billboards, you do not draw any unsubstantiated connection between the two. We with other bloggers and journalists as responsible.

The fact that our new song "Don't Vote" by 50 Billion and Felonious Ax was released at the same time and has the same text as the Clear Channel billboard is purely coincidental, honest.

Only conspiracy slackers would believe there is any connection between the Billionaires, Bush and Clear Channel.

-Robin Eublind
"We are all in this together, sort of."

PS: And don't get us started about Felonious Ax's song "Clear Channel, We Rule the Air," it was written a long time ago, and has nothing to do with us getting favorable air play on the Clear Channel radio network. It is totally unfair that Howard Stern will not play the song "Clear Channel" on his show anymore after his falling out with the network.