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Obama flunks diversity: Pushes for more media regulation by the FCC 10/23/07

Posted by Steve Boriss in Diversity.

Barack Obama is now leaning on the broadcast-regulating FCC to force greater diversity in the media. Sounds great, but there are just two problems with his plan. First, the dictionary’s definition of “diversity” is different from his definition, which is “representation of every whiny, victimhood-claiming special interest group that is electorally significant.” Second, the FCC has probably done more to reduce diversity in the media than any other force in America. By limiting the number of broadcast channels, licensing them, and requiring for license renewal that broadcasters prove to the government they have been responsible corporate citizens, we have ended-up with incredibly non-diverse, relatively government-friendly, and mind-numbingly dull broadcast news.

Thomas Jefferson wanted diversity in media, too, but he was hoping more for a multitude of voices competing in a freewheeling marketplace of ideas, than a smattering of whiners and hucksters. Fortunately, we are poised to achieve Jefferson’s vision with the Internet, assuming we can keep the government’s grubby, regulating hands off. Meanwhile, if the FCC after decades of failure is serious about achieving real diversity, it might open-up the “white spaces” between channels for unregulated broadcasting, narrow the allowable bandwidth for existing broadcasts to cram more channels into the spectrum, and allow unlimited buyouts of media companies. And when the FCC is done, there’s one last thing they can do to ensure diversity in the future. Turn-off the lights, go home, and never come back to work.


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