How the Public Airwaves Would Be Treated Under a True Democracy

True democracy meaning what you usually don’t have under capitalism, where rightwing capitalists typically own 90-99% of the broadcast media.

Some Republican Congressman named John Grant successfully got the funding of public radio station WNNF-FM cut off for playing Iris Dement’s Wasteland of the Free. You could say that it could have been played on the radio of the private sector, but that’s all corporate radio, and they won’t touch this song with a 10 foot pole and an 11 foot extension. The only place such a song could ever be played is on pubic radio.

This shows you that freedom of speech is more or less bullshit under American capitalism. There’s freedom of speech for everyone who owns a TV or radio station, all of them extremely rich rightwing corporate types, and there’s none for anyone else. Internet radio and Internet TV is threatening to change that a bit, which is one reason why the rightwing is trying to crack down on the Internet to censor it via getting rid of Net Neutrality so they can get rid of the voices of the Left on the Net.

Freedom of the press under American capitalism, and under capitalism in general, is simply a joke.

The truth is that I own those damned airwaves. Their mine, dammit. They’re yours too. They don’t belong to those corporate fucks. Corrupt political swine of both parties auctioned off your and my airwaves worth $30 billion for pennies on the dollar to rightwing corporations.

Here is how the media ought to work under a true democracy. The media ought to represent the views of the public. If the public is mostly rightwing, the media should be rightwing. If the public is mostly Left, the media should be Left.

Here’s how you do it. Do surveys every five years or so about political views. The most recent surveys showed 45% conservative, 35% moderate, 20% liberal.

45% of radio and TV licenses go to conservative outlets.

35% of radio and TV licenses go to moderate outlets.

20% of radio and TV outlets go to liberal outlets.

I would like to open up the cable networks. I would love to turn on cable and see Joe Blow and Jane Shmoe doing local and community shows of all political flavors. That would be very nice. Let 1000 flowers bloom.

0 thoughts on “How the Public Airwaves Would Be Treated Under a True Democracy”

  1. “Here is how the media ought to work under a true democracy. The media ought to represent the views of the public. If the public is mostly rightwing, the media should be rightwing. If the public is mostly Left, the media should be Left.”

    Actually, it should be the other way around: the majority should always have its political views challenged. Which is why exotic, contrarian viewpoints (like HBD) should get more airtime than conventional opposition, which in turn should get more airtime than the views of the majority. When a new majority is formed, repeat the process. Science thrives because disproving your own theories is glorified among scientists. Government should be the same.

    There is another problem with your proposal: the political center is not static.

  2. Inneresting entry, Mr. Lindsay. I’m becoming a regular reader of yer blog and find yer creativity and no-boundaries thoughts invigorating!

    About radio….

    I’ve actually owned radio stations and owned a now defunct internet-based business that brokered radio and tv stations, mostly radio. I and my now former husband used to give a sometime, once in a while seminar on “How to Buy a Small Market Radio Station.” We had people coming from literally all over the world to attend. One fella actually flew in from Latvia! For those who wanted to stay an extra half day, we also gave some instruction on how to run a station. That part was free.

    At the beginning of the seminar, we asked several questions of the attendees. First one was, “Why do you want to own a station?” The answers ranged from, “I want to hear my kid of music,” to “I have a message, and no one will give me a job!”

    The next question was, “What business is radio in?”

    Blank stares. Well, except for those already in the industry.

    The answer? Can you guess? I’ll wait….

    The ADVERTISING business!

    At this point, I usually had people, sometimes just one, sometimes more, stand up and demand their money back. And I gave it to them, gladly. The last thing I wanted was to have people waste their and sometimes their friends and relatives’, money. Just like I did. I was badly conned by my now ex-husband.

    Sorry, I digress…

    Yup, advertising. Not news, sports, weather, or talk. All those COST owners money and sometimes quite a lot. And we give all that away.

    All the programming is about, is to entice ears for advertisers to pitch their goods and services to.

    Programming is both an art and a science. I had a customer who called me, “Deb, you think outta the box, in fact, I think yer slightly nuts! BUT, damn, yer always right. Tell me what you think I oughta do with this AM flamethrower I have…” He wanted to sell it, but no way…no cash flow and he didn’t own the real estate (bad move, signals especally AMs, are difficult if not impossible to move if the property owner decides to raise yer rent waaayyy high)His big signal AM is in the Carolinas, with a heavy Hispanic population(many legal, but as an Hispanic I know says, “For every Hispanic, legal or not, there are literally 3 more who aren’t counted and refuse to be {cultural thing, and I am happy to explain that}) I told him, “Go Hispanic broadcasting.” I called him back in six months, “Ready to sell that AM?”

    “Hell NO! It’s making more than my FM!”

    Although my stations were in a conservative area, I dropped Rush, I couldn’t find sponsors. I know a far left wing broadcaster, also in the Midwest, he hates all things conservative, but…he carries Rush on 3 of his 22 stations. WHY? Rush makes money for him. He didn’t carry Air America because he couldn’t sell it.

    NPR and all it’s incestuous cousins are heavily supported by the government. Public broadcasting was originally intended to supply news and weather to rural areas without commercial stations, areas that could not support a retail base that would support a commercial station or there were no open channels that had licenses granted by the FCC.

    Now, commercial radio is crowded on nearly all bands. The FCC granted station in areas that barely support what it had, and granted more licenses or permits to build out stations. And public broadcasting is seriously flaunting the advertising rules. Yes, I say “advertising.”

    I don’t want to take over yer blog, Mr. Lindsay, so I’ll stop with one last sentence: Radio ain’t as simple a biz as it looks.

    OK, one more sentence: If you want to make a small fortune in radio, start with a large one, and with a small one, you’ll lose yer ass, as I did.

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