Congress is off this week, so I can complain about the media all I want!
Ralph Nader, America's greatest citizen, reminds us that serious voices have almost entirely disappeared from the public airwaves. To think that you or I could once have been on the Merv Griffin Show because we actually had ideas worth hearing, and not just because we bought a sonogram machine in order to watch our starlet-wife's unborn fetus kick around in the womb. When Nader criticizes the fact that "audiences have become so hyped with the weird and the sexual," he sounds the clarion call for moral values exactly as it should be sounded (and not, for example, the way rageaholics like Brent Bozell do it). Read the entire thing, but get your reading glasses out; the font in this article is diabolically small for some reason.
Is the FCC about to do something right for a change? Word on the street is the FCC may reverse course and embrace the idea of a la carte cable programming. But the FCC also seems enamored of the "themed tier" idea, which smacks of being a compromise with the cable companies, and I'm not in a compromising mood. I explain why I hold the same position on a la carte programming as many far-right-wingers here, and I should add that the reason cable companies almost uniformly oppose a la carte cable is advertising: advertisers can buy time on any cable channel with the hope that a lot of channel-surfers will see their ad sooner or later. Given that I believe advertising revenue is one of the great evils of our modern corporate megamedia, I am of course not impressed.
And quelle surprise -- while the Parents Television Council and Focus on the Family remain unlikely allies in my war on cable monopolies, the big televangelists remain my enemies, opposing a la carte because they want to "reach the unconverted." No doubt the Pat Robertsons and Jerry Falwells will soon be crowing that giving citizens the right to pay for cable channels one at a time is tantamount to "religious discrimination." As if we needed another reason to become a la carte nation!
(I'm compelled to use Mediachannel links for the above two articles, because the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times are both registration-required sites.)