Bush appointee Kevin Martin, head of the FCC, is "proposing to do away with media ownership rules that bar companies from owning both a newspaper and a television or radio station in the same city. In 2003, Kevin Martin voted with the then-FCC chairman to lift the same media ownership rules but the effort was overturned by the landmark Prometheus v. FCC decision" (Democracy Now, 2007).
"Previous to his FCC job, Kevin Martin served on the Bush-Cheney transition team and was general council for Bush's 2000 Presidential campaign. His wife, Cathie Martin is a former aide to Vice President Dick Cheney - and works in the White House as a special assistant to the President for economic policy" (Democracy Now, 2005). Considering that Mr. Martin has such close ties with the Bush administration, one cannot help but wonder if this is just another attempt by Bush and Company to limit the public's access to information, as well as reward large media corporations for their cooperation in keeping information from the public.
This type of information manipulation is not new. David Rockefeller expressed his appreciation for members of the mass media in their efforts to help him in his march towards a world government in 1991:
We are grateful to the Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries.
(David Rockefeller, Baden-Baden, Germany 1991)
What we need is a diversity of information from media outlets that are not controlled by special interests, and not a monopoly of a few large corporations whose interests lie in reporting only government approved propaganda. A report done by the Media Information Center in 2004, "shows that only 5 huge corporations -- Time Warner, Disney, Murdoch's News Corporation, Bertelsmann of Germany, and Viacom (formerly CBS) -- now control most of the media industry in the U.S. General Electric's NBC is a close sixth." The following chart shows the startling decrease in the "number of corporations that control a majority of U.S. media" from 1983 to 2004.
Media Reform Information Center, 2007
Kevin Martin's proposal would not only increase multi-national corporate control over what is seen and heard, but also contribute to the stifling of alternate opinion and free speech, which is so important to a viable democracy. Tell the FCC that you will not put up with further limitations of your right to information from diversified sources. Act now, before it is too late.
Copyright 2007, Barbara H. Peterson