As the mainstream media has become increasingly dependent on advertising revenues for support, it has become an anti-democratic force in society.
If the Internet is worth its salt, it has to help arrest the forces that promote inequality, monopoly, hypercommercialism, corruption, depoliticization and stagnation.
Advertising is the voice of capital. We need to do whatever we can to limit capitalist propaganda, regulate it, minimize it, and perhaps even eliminate it. The fight against hyper-commercialism becomes especially pronounced in the era of digital communications.
Because Hightower's problem, among other things, is that advertisers would be a lot less interested in his show than in Limbaugh's, even if they have similar ratings, because of what Hightower is saying.
So the system we have in radio and television today is the direct result of government policies that have been made in our name, in the name of the people, on our behalf, but without our informed consent.
In many respects, we now live in a society that is only formally democratic, as the great mass of citizens have minimal say on the major public issues of the day, and such issues are scarcely debated at all in any meaningful sense in the electoral arena. In our society, corporations and the wealthy
So the competition isn't once you got the license, running the station; it's getting the license.
The number one lobby that opposes campaign finance reform in the United States is the National Association of Broadcasters.
The problem of how to make the Internet advertising friendly bewildered and obsessed Madison Avenue for much of the 1990s. Advertising won.
So that what you tend to see is someone like a Rush Limbaugh, he's the classic case because he's the most successful, he didn't sort of like come out of his mother's womb with the highest ratings in the country.
The public gets not one penny from them in return for those airwaves.
The relationship between the media owner, their relationship isn't strictly with people and audiences. It's also with advertisers, and that's the most relationship in radio; in fact it pays the bills.
And understand that scarce spectrum is used today for example for cell phone operators, they have to pay for the airwaves they use, for their services.
And they've got to be held accountable; our broadcasting system has to be made accountable; and unless it is, it's going to be very hard to change anything else for the better in this country.
But having said that, what's happening with campaign finance reform and our political culture is devastating.
If you're running for reelection in the House of Representatives race, you know, it's very important to you that you be on fairly good terms with the local affiliates in the largest market in your area. I mean you don't want to antagonize them.
What I've found is that there is a tremendous interest in these issues, across the political spectrum, sort of left-right terms we used to describe people don't really hold here exactly.
The commercial broadcasters have tremendous influence in Washington, D.C., for a couple of reasons. First, they're extremely rich and they have lots of money and they have had for a long time, so they can give money to politicians, which gets their attention.
The notion that journalism can regularly produce a product that violates the fundamental interests of media owners and advertisers ... is absurd.
Any serious effort to reform the media system would have to necessarily be part of a revolutionary program to overthrow the capitalist system itself.
You will never ever, in any circumstance, win any struggle at any time. That being said, we have a long way to go. At the moment, the battle over network neutrality is not to completely eliminate the telephone and cable companies. We are not at that point yet. But the ultimate goal is to get rid of
You know, a left-winger, the barrier to success if you're on the left in commercial radio is a mile and a half higher than it is if you're on the right.
The whole process of getting licenses to broadcast, which took place decades ago, was done behind closed doors by powerful lobbies, and wealthy commercial interests got all the licenses with no public input, no congressional input for that matter.
Basically what they're saying is, if you want to be on TV, if you want to be a credible candidate, you've got to buy ads. And if you're not buying ads, you're not a credible candidate, we don't cover you.
But the ultimate goal is to get rid of the media capitalists in the phone and cable companies and to divest them from control.
In the United States, both the upper levels of the Republican and Democratic Parties are in the pay of the corporate media and communication giants.
There is no real answer (to the U.S. economic crisis) but to remove brick by brick the capitalist system itself, rebuilding the entire society on socialist principles.
Local television news, on both radio and television, is so appalling. Makes print journalism look like the greatest stuff ever written.
Also, the commercial media in a superior position, really, to any other corporate lobby, because where would people hear about commercial media or corporate media criticism, where would they hear criticism of them other than in the commercial media?
Which is supposed to mean they're doing something in their broadcasting they would not do is they were simply out to maximize profit; if they were really public service institutions, not purely profit maximizing institutions.