Friday, July 11, 2008

Nader's Nuts!

Listen for yourself.

So to follow Nader's twisted logic Don Henley, Rhianna, Faith Hill and every other music artist that benefits from the exposure of being played on the radio should pay rent to "the people." Well then. That might even things out when it comes to the performance royalty battle that is on-going.

Here's the full text of the letter sent to Mr. Limbaugh from Mr. Nader:

Rush Limbaugh
The Rush Limbaugh Show
2 Penn Plaza
New York, NY 10121

Dear Mr. Limbaugh,

The Associated Press reports your new contract with Premiere Radio Networks will enrich you with at least $38 million a year over the next eight years. You are making this money on the public property of the American people for which you pay no rent.

You, Rush Limbaugh, are on welfare.

As you know, the public airwaves belong to the American people. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is supposed to be our trustee in managing this property. The people are the landlords and the radio and TV stations and affiliated companies are the tenants.

The problem is that since the Radio Act of 1927 these corporate tenants have been massively more powerful in Washington, DC than the tens of millions of listeners and viewers. The result has been no payment of rent by the stations for the value of their license to broadcast. You and your company are using the public's valuable property for free. This freeloading on the backs of the American people is called corporate welfare.

It is way past due for the super-rich capitalist--Rush Limbaugh from Cape Girardeau, Missouri--to get himself off big time welfare. It is way past due for Rush Limbaugh as the Kingboy of corporatist radio to set a capitalist example for his peers and pay rent to the American people for the very lucrative use of their property.

You need not wait for the broadcast industry-indentured FCC and Congress to do the right thing. You can lead by paying a voluntary rent--determined by a reputable appraisal organization--for the time you use on the hundreds of stations that carry your words each weekday.

Payment of rent for the use of public airwaves owned by the American people is the conservative position. Real conservatives oppose corporate welfare. Real corporatists feed voraciously from hundreds of billions of dollars in corporate welfare gushing out of Washington, DC yearly.

Whose side are you on? Freeloading? Or paying rent for the public property you have been using free for many years?

I look forward to your response.

Sincerely yours,

Ralph Nader

When Fair is Anything But...Fair

The Fairness Doctrine in my view should not be reinstated. Period. This is an issue I feel very strongly about. If the goal is to destroy highly opinionated (and yes, one-sided) content on radio stations, this should do the trick. Why is this necessary?

I believe:
  • Let the free market decide what programming gets on the air
  • Reinstatement would be detrimental to both the left and the right
  • With few exceptions, programming decisions are apolitical
  • Bottom line managers would air bird calls if it would be profitable-and they would be right to do so
  • It could effectively hasten the death of opinionated talk radio
  • The financial burden of managing "fairness" could prove to be a hardship for an industry that can't afford it
  • Does fairness apply to politics only? Will atheists demand equal time on religious stations? Will anarchists demand equal time on stations that talk about law and order? Will ethnic stations be forced to air other ethnic views? How fair is fair?
  • What would be the penalty for lack of fairness? License revocation? Fines?
Last I checked, life isn't always fair. And that's OK. I suggest to those who feel slighted by "lack of access" create better and more compelling programming. Prove you can attract an audience and the airtime will be yours. I speak from first hand experience having hired and managed talk talent from both sides of the political spectrum. Make no mistake about it--this push is 100% political. It's not about talent, audience satisfaction, revenue, industry stability and growth, and most all it's not about fair. Simply put, this is about silencing political opponents.

This blog is not about politics and never will be until the government starts hinting that programming needs to start conforming to some bureaucratic ideal.

I have posted a new poll on this issue and as always invite your opinions.