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  • Monday, September 06, 2004


    Murdoch and Me

    So we have DirectTV, a satellite provider of TV. We live in a rural and hilly area where reception is exceedingly poor (like receiving only two stations). Our town isn’t serviced by any cable company and won’t be for the foreseeable future. Some people can live without access to TV but I’m not one of them.

    I didn’t pay much attention when there was a proposal for Echostar, another satellite provider, to merge with DirectTV. That fell through and guess what? This is from The Center for Public Integrity website:

    News Corp., which was active in blocking the EchoStar deal, eventually prevailed in the bidding wars and bought a controlling interest in Hughes for $6.6 billion. Unlike EchoStar, News Corp. managed to get the deal through federal anti-trust regulators. In March 2004 Hughes Electronics became The DirecTV Group under News Corp.’s Fox Entertainment Group. Link to source.

    News Corp. and Fox, of course, are owned by Rupert Murdoch, funder of conservative causes everywhere. I’m feeling a little ill at the moment. I’m really hoping that there won’t be any “streamlining” of the channel lineup because I know which will go first.

    LinkTV is one of my few lifelines in the relatively barren television media landscape. They have recently started showing Democracy Now! in the morning and at 6pm. DN! isn’t perfect but it’s head and shoulders above the regular spectrum of shows on TV. Watching DN! also brings home how far to the right all political discussion on TV has slipped. Political concepts the conservatives on TV call “liberal” or “radical” all seem to be centrist or, in rare instances, somewhat to the center-left. Intellectually I understood this to be the case but actually seeing and hearing progressive-left viewpoints really shows how closed and narrow mainstream TV is these days.

    I also really like Mosaic: World News From The Middle East. "Mosaic features selections from daily TV news programs produced by national broadcasters throughout the Middle East. The news reports are presented unedited and translated, when necessary, into English." American media are generally very limited when it comes to international news, providing little insight and relying on a "newsworthy" event to cover anything. If I depended on mainstream media coverage, well, let's just say I would wonder why there's anyone left in the Middle East considering the number of car bombs going off there.

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