Do the Public Airways Really Belong to the Public?

(noon. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

The Current Media System favors the Representation of Corporate Interests by our Politicians.

Since the Media Airtime costs so much, Politicians generally have little choice but to give Corporate Speech an Audience, in order to get Elected. … Helloooo Corporate Lobbyists!

Click to Enlarge Flowchart A

This Current Media System, which roughly speaking (See Flowchart A)

1) The FCC gives away the Public Airwaves, with little consideration of their actual worth.

2) Main Stream Media (MSM) companies open up shop to sell those Airwaves.

3) Corporations design Consumer Ads to market their Products.

4) Corporations give the MSM huge sums of Money to air their Consumer Ads to the People.

5) Corporations make use Lobbyists and PACs, to guarantee Corporate Speech a Voice.

6) Candidates coordinate with Lobbyists and PACs, to design Consumer Ads to market themselves.

7) Citizens can donate to Candidates too, but generally have a smaller influence that Corporate Speech.

8) Candidates give the MSM huge sums of Money to air their Political Ads to the People.

9) The average Consumer watches the Ads, generally unaware of the vested interests behind them.

10) The average Consumer ends up paying in terms of lower quality of life and inadequate Representation from entrenched and conflicted Politicians.

This Current Media System favors the Representation of Corporate Interests by our Politicians. Since the Media Airtime costs so much, Politicians generally have little choice but to give Corporate Speech an Audience, in order to get Elected.

Another Possible Media System, roughly speaking, where the Public gets “some value” from their Airways (See Flowchart B)

Click to Enlarge Flowchart B

1) The FCC secures Payment for the Public Airwaves, realizing of their actual worth to Society.

2) Main Stream Media (MSM) companies, agree to Air Ads of qualified Candidates, for free, as a Public Service.

2) Main Stream Media (MSM) companies open up shop to sell their remaining Airwaves.

3) Corporations design Consumer Ads to market their Products.

4) Corporations give the MSM huge sums of Money to air their Consumer Ads to the People.

5) Corporations are restricted from donating to Lobbyists and PACs.

6) Candidates coordinate with their Constituents, to design Consumer Ads to market themselves.

7) Citizens can donate to Candidates too, but since the barrier to entry is less, Citizens involvement in Politics goes way up.

8) The MSM gives qualified Candidates huge blocks of airtime to run their Political Ads to the People.

9) The average Consumer watches the Ads, more intently, realizing they have a vested interest in the Candidates and the Election Outcome.

10) The average Consumer ends up earning more in terms of better quality of life and truly Representation from engaged and focused Politicians.

This proposed Media System favors the actual Representation of Citizen Interests by our Politicians. Since the Media Airtime is no longer the “driving factor” in Elections, Politicians can choose who to listen to, and which Audience(s) to represent, in order to get Elected.

What are our Airwaves “worth” anyways?

How much is someone willing to pay to get one clear channel signal?

214 Bidders on List for US FCC Public Airwaves Auction

Cellular-News, Dow Jones Newswires, Jan 15, 2008

WASHINGTON (AP)–More than 200 companies had qualified by Monday to bid during the auction of public airwaves that could raise as much as $15 billion for the U.S. Treasury.

The Federal Communications Commission released a final list of 214 bidders for the much-anticipated auction set for Jan. 24. Winners will use the valuable spectrum to deliver wireless voice and data services to millions of customers.

What are our Airwaves “worth” anyways?

$15,000,000,000 / 214 = $70,093,458  is the Average Bid for one, in a recent auction.

Well is that Expensive?

How much can someone make, if they own one clear channel signal?

 2008 Political Ads Worth $2.5+ Billion

TNS Media Intelligence estimates that between $2.5 billion and $2.7 billion were spent on political ads this election season. Television’s share was $2.2 billion.

WOW! Political Ads are worth $2,500,000,000 in the MSM Marketplace of Ideas.

$70,000,000 seems a small price to pay to get a slice of that “guaranteed” Political Revenue, year after year.

It’s not like the FCC, CAN’T put usage conditions on the leasing of those Public Airwaves, afterall the Media will still snap up those clear channel signals:

FCC to Draw Up a Plan for Auctioning Public Airwaves

By Jenny Huntington – Dec 2nd 2008

This December, the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is expected to draw up a plan for auctioning public airwaves, which is set to stipulate that the winning bidder save some of the airwaves for free Internet across the nation.

It’s not like the FCC, DOESN’T put “contractual requirements” on the leasing of those Public Airwaves, afterall the Media will still snap up those clear channel signals:

Filing of contracts with the FCC

The FCC requires broadcasters to file network affiliation agreements, ownership documents, personnel contracts, and time brokerage agreements. License renewals, changes, and cancellations in network affiliation also need to be filed. […] All the documents described above should be filed within 30 days of their execution with the FCC Secretary.

SO why CAN’T the FCC put stricter requirements, on the Obligations for “Public Service” in exchange for “ownership” of those Public Airwaves?

What sort of “Public Service” Issues are on the Agenda of the New FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, anyways?

A Full Five Person FCC – What’s Next For Broadcasters?

July 29, 2009 by David Oxenford

What issues of importance to broadcasters will the Commission, now headed by Chairman Julius Genachowski, take up in coming months? […] He did, however, emphasize, that any broadcast regulation (specifically referencing the mandatory review of the broadcast ownership rules that must begin next year), would have to take into account the realities of the marketplace – including the current economic conditions.

[…]

Other issues deal with questions of what kind of public service obligations broadcasters will face.

In the second category of issues – the question of what public interest regulations the Commission should impose on broadcasters, issues include:

— Dealing with the Petitions for Reconsideration of the FCC’s decisions to require TV stations to put their public files on line and to complete the Form 355 detailing all of their public service programming in minute detail

[…]

  – Mandatory public service obligations for broadcasters

  – Potential extension of the TV public file and Form 355 obligations set out above to radio

[…]

— Resolution of the rural radio proceeding which includes questions about what kind of service stations need to provide to their city of license

— Decisions on the proposals to mandate stricter sponsorship identification rules allegedly to protect the consumer from being influenced by undisclosed sponsors

[…]

And there is that little question of the Fairness Doctrine that just refuses to go away.

 

So, “Public Service” Issues are on the Agenda of the New FCC Chairman, but do they go far enough?

Will the overwhelming issue of “Corporate Speech driving the Political Process” (See Flowchart A) be given any attention, in this “new era” of stronger FCC Oversight?

Will “Corporate Speech” continue to dominant and monopolize our Representative form of Government?

It will if the Forbes Crowd, gets its way:

Free Speech For Corporations

Undoing the progressive mindset.

Richard A. Epstein,  Forbes.com — 09.01.09

Next week, on Sept. 9, 2009, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in the contentious case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. The issue at hand is whether Citizens United has run afoul of McCain-Feingold

[…]

The answer turns critically on which word is emphasized in the phrase “corporate speech,” which, as Adam Liptak has written, has made for strange bedfellows in the speech wars. Put the emphasis on the last word, and McCain-Feingold won’t last for a single news cycle.

[…]

the progressive mindset does not see the issue as one of freedom, but of corporate power. Writing in Austin, Justice Marshall noted that corporations were subject to extra restrictions because they enjoyed the benefit of limited liability from the state and could thus amass resources from their economic activities to achieve “an unfair advantage in the political market place.” Justice Stevens and Justice O’Connor in McConnell invoked that “sober minded” progressive thinker Elihu Root to remind us that corporate power and politics do not mix.

The Answer depends on which word is emphasized in “Corporate Speech”

If you think “Corporate” is the most important Driver — the Current Media System is just fine.

(See Flowchart A)

If you think “Speech” is the most important Driver — it may finally be time for Another Possible Media System — one the puts the Speech of the People, back in the “Driver’s Seat”.

(See Flowchart B)

What the Supreme Court decides, What the FCC decides, on the issues of “Corporate Speech” and “Public Service”, DOES matter!

Who’s Public Airways are they, anyways?

Which Public?

Yours and Mine? … or those who can afford to Pay to Play?  (aka. the Special Interests)

Who will ultimately reap the Benefits, of leasing those Public resources?

WE the People, or they the Corporate Persons?

Such issues, deserve more Airtime, than they now Currently Get!

I wonder why we never see this discussed on TVeee?

It must have something to do with our (Current System ) Of, By, and For, the forces of the Status Quo?

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10 comments

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    • jamess on September 6, 2009 at 7:46 pm
      Author

    Tips for putting The People

    back into the ‘Free Speech’ Driver’s Seat.

  1. 1. Form a foundation to secure the EMP technology used to fry electronic chips.  Non-nuclear of course.

    2. Build said EMP electronic chip frying devices.

    3. Distribute said chip frying devices about the country.

    4. Fry everything.

    Now does that fully illustrate my contempt for electronic media?

  2. are defined as people were screwed. Their is also the ass backward fear of public from all spectrum’s political. We have morphed into Babylon, the corporations are sacred they are now the public the ‘we the people’…. If you remove them you are killing your granny, Muslims will come out your sewer pipes and terrorize you and evil socialists will take away your granite counter tops or your earth destroyer, or the millions your gonna make in the casino, someday.    

    • publicv on September 8, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    owns junk, junk bonds, and obsolete machinery and equipment.  Debt.

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