In 1983, 50 corporations controlled a majority of American media. Now that number is six. And Big Media may get even bigger, thanks to the FCC’s consideration of ending a rule preventing companies from owning a newspaper and radio and TV stations in the same big city. Such a move — which they’ve tried in 2003 and 2007 as well –would give these massive media companies free rein to devour more of the competition, control the public message, and also limit diversity across the media landscape. On this week’s Moyers & Company (check local listings), Senator Bernie Sanders, one of several Senators who have written FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski asking him to suspend the plan, joins Bill to discuss why Big Media is a threat to democracy and what citizens can do to fight back.
Sanders also expresses his dismay that such a move would come from an Obama appointee. “Why the Obama Administration is doing something that the Bush Administration failed to do is beyond my understanding,” Sanders tells Bill. “And we’re gonna do everything we can to prevent it from happening.”
Sanders explains why even "ordinary people" should be concerned the media and increased concentration of ownership in the media: "Bill, many of the viewers there are concerned about the growing gap, unequal distribution of wealth and income. They're concerned about health care, concerned about global warming, concerned about women's rights, health, and many, many other issues."
"If you are concerned about those issues, you must be concerned about media and the increased concentration of ownership in the media. Because unless we get ordinary people involved in that discussion. Unless we make media relevant to the lives of ordinary people and not use it as a distraction, we are not going to resolve many of these serious crisis, global warming being one. There are scientists who will come on your show and say, "Hey, forget everything else. If we don't get a handle on global warming, there's not going to be much left of this planet in a hundred years." Do you see that often being portrayed in the corporate media? I fear not."
Full transcript after the jump.