The Litmus Test for any future presidency of this country should be his/her promises, and plan for fixing our broken Federal Communications Commission. It happens all the time, a candidate talks about something, makes us promises but never mentions anything about the one responsibility our future president is in charge of, which is the FCC. If the people can not rely on the news to accurately monitor what is going on in our country, and how our actions affect others in the world then it is like driving an automobile in the dark with the headlights turned off. I don't know about you but that frightens me.
This is a very important topic, and I am not the only one to think so. If you were to go to Wikipedia, and look up the Federal Communications Commission, you would see how it is a complex system of that office to ensure it runs properly. There are five FCC Commissioners with staggered terms so as to make it more difficult for any one of them to make their presence obtain any certain outcome from any lobbied group. Furthermore, our own President is in charge of these commissioners. Someone at the very beginning of setting up this system felt it necessary to be very cautious as to protect the people so we get timely, and accurate news concerning what is pertinent to our communities.
In fact the people of this country are in charge of the media's status in holding these broadcast licenses because it is considered a privilege to represent our news. Should the information "not" be timely, accurate, or pertinent then these licenses will be pulled from the broadcaster. I suggest everyone familiarize themselves with the Wikipedia page on the FCC.
I once listened to a speaker at Berkley giving her thesis on "Media Consolidation". Not only was this woman alarmed, and scared, but it scared me as well. It appears from what she was telling us, that the FCC has been making some very poor decisions, undoing the very mechanisms we set forth to protect us from events such as these.
In the Iraq war, war reporters were embedded, thus our objective investigative journalism was tainted from the very start. Media consolidation has also led to the firing of a once large pool of investigative journalists, but with consolidation overhead costs were severely reduced as to put all their eggs in one basket.
With media consolidation, what would prevent a broadcast owner from making the news his own subjective opinion not based on facts, or even a hidden agenda that could very well line his pockets in favors from others. We criticize Cuba for unfounded reasons, but did you know that the president there gets on the television when a hurricane is coming, and properly warns them just how dangerous this storm is. Wouldn't it be nice if our president warned us properly on television about what is pertinent in our country.
There used to be a saying about how we would not let the media flop again like we did in world war one. Just so you know what they mean is they did not do a good job in covering the war. Edgar Rice Burroughs did a little checking himself on that war and easily found out that war is about profit and his nephew died for no good reason. It upset him so much that he created the story about "Tarzan" where this writer lost faith in mankind. The writer could find only one honest man where in his writings that man would protect the jungle and it's inhabitants from all other men.
Wouldn't it be nice that we learn from our mistakes, make some safeguards of our own to protect our jungle, so to speak. The founders of the FCC thought as much, and probably felt that their system needed us to stewart it as to prevent the sneaky and determined few individuals who might put their own agenda ahead of our all of our own.
Don't think for a minute that honest news is not profitable for the broadcasters. The news program "60 Minutes was the highest grossing tv program of all time. I remember when Ted Koppel from Nightline left his job out of disappointment. I even wrote to Nightline asking them to take a look at themselves, and what the people of this country felt about their decision to let Ted go. I would have fought tooth and nail to keep him on the air. But in today's news, merely putting an article in the paper about gas emissions and the effect on this planet ruffles feathers for car manufactures, which then refuse to put their ad in the paper because it makes their gas gushing SUV's look bad and could decrease sales. Maybe before we all put news on the television, or in the paper, we should first ask every business in this country if it is alright with them?
For the older people in this country, each of you probably could remember at least one good news team that did real investigative journalism. It was a fight to get that, a real hard fight. Today for the younger people of this country, television is an embarrassment-- something that a stranger would see and instantly use as a Litmus Test of their own to get a feel for what this country is like. Our children are trying to learn responsibility. Do you not think they do not watch the same television as you and I? Maybe they would feel better about their future if they saw some implementation from their parents that was real, and tangible. Something the young generation could wrap their arms around, and feel a little solid ground underneath them as they begin their lives. I don't care if the devil himself applies for candidacy for president, as long as he does one thing, and that is do his job as President of the FCC.
Maybe instead of protesting in front of the White House, we should instead speak our mind in front of the FCC Building in Washington. After all, this problem affects everyone, no matter the age, religion, race, income, or gender! Ask your parents what they are doing about this problem, and how the next generation could add to that voice. Next time all of you turn on that television, see if you are not as upset as me about the content. If so, here is an easy place to make your voice heard.