Home | About | Donate

Can Anyone Stop Trump’s FCC From Approving a Conservative Local News Empire?


Can Anyone Stop Trump’s FCC From Approving a Conservative Local News Empire?

John Light

President Trump’s Federal Communications Commission, under chairman Ajit Pai, has been clearing the way for a merger between Sinclair Broadcasting and Tribune Media, two television companies that together own hundreds of local news stations.


This pending merger, the result of which would mean more misinformed Americans, is one more flashing signal: Warning!


i’m canadian, and get so frustrated, angry, shocked by what is happening in u.s.a., and cannot imagine how you all must be feeling citizens.
they are destroying a fragile democracy. all democracies are fragile, and flawed as democracy is, like single payer health plans, it is, at least a platform from which to grow.
can anybody stop this? yes, the legislature can.
will they? right now, i’m ambivelent.
good luck? is that all we can wish for? luck?
well, i wish citizens of u.s.a. strength and courage, and my admiration and respect.


In the 1967 movie “The Incident”, an entire Subway Car full of passengers is terrorized at length by Two Thugs.

Today, it’s 300 Million of Us dancing to the tune, played by a micro fraction of our population, in control of all the Microphones, Cameras and Publications.


Murdoch’s angle isn’t principled. He just wanted to be the one with that percentage of control, so like neutrality, this is another a-hole vs a-hole battle.

Sinclair’s saving grace is, that, unlike the Fox media empire, they’re utterly unsophisticated and hamfisted in the way they do propaganda. They’ll have less total effect on American minds than a Murdoch would. I’ve sat in a room full of working class Janes and Joes and had half the room giggling at the crude op-eds Sinclair forces their affiliates to run. Many of them are so embarrassingly amateurish, that a lot of affiliates run them in the middle of the night out of shame.

In short, better Sinclair than NewsCorp. That said, I’d much prefer going back.k to the days of the fairness doctrine, weak as that was. But neither party supports bringing that back, so we’re stuck with one more monopoly struggle.


I wouldn’t dismiss SBC so quickly. In what region of the country was this roomful of people? SBC understands demographics extremely well. I’ve been warning about them here long before published editorialists picked up the scent. At least five years ago I dug out a business article where SBC openly laid out their strategy to barter and trade licenses and stations, according to the admittedly weak FCC restrictions in place to guard against media monopoly, to dominate certain regions of the country where they (correctly) assessed the next presidential election would be determined. Their purpose was two-fold: to reap the great windfall of all the money that would be spent on political ads in those regions, and to promote, with subtly or not, their conservative GOP agenda and candidates.

They correctly infiltrated and dominated media markets which have more often than not voted Democratic, but this past cycle went GOP-Trump. It isn’t coincidence. What they produce and broadcast may be amateurish and obvious, but we know that propaganda is not just what you say and show, but also what you don’t say or show… And SBC is a past master of completely ignoring much of our national reality.


I’m not dismissing them at all. I’m simply saying they’re the lesser media evil here. My preference would, as I think I said, be a restoration of the old media regulations that limited most stations to local ownership.

That said, if I have to endure right wing media–and let’s face it, we will as long as the US remains capitalist–I’d rather take my chances with these buffoons than the far more professional head-screwers that NewsCorp employs.

Saying that doesn’t diminish any of your points at all. And you’re also right that what’s not covered is its own form of propaganda, but the reality is that for leftists–of which I am–, all corporate coverage omits our perspective, whether Sinclair or Turner or Disney or GE/Comcast.


Absolutely agree with that very last, but I would not count on SBC remaining amateurish and obvious.

There is a distinction here also that isn’t much of a distinction. The local SBC operation here, now with the advent of digital TV broadcasting and a widening of the frequency spectrum, owns and broadcasts both an NBC “station” and a FOX “station.” Side by side, and I’m sure this situation is more the norm and not the exception.


Also, all of the cameras watching our every move in public, just in case we get too restive.
“National Security” don’cha know.


Solution: Cut the effing cable!


I happen to agree with you. A very significant portion of the television/radio audience in certain geographical locations, and certain demographic groups is very susceptible to propaganda, be it overt or covert. That’s a fact. That was a definite factor in the 2016 debacle.


anything’s possible, right? :slight_smile:

But they’ve got a ways to go to catch up with some of the ore sophisticated right wing media outlets.

Again, I’d prefer that both Sinclair and NewsCorp cease to exist. That would make me nearly giddy.


ha! That was my solution as well. Stopped commercial television about 8 years ago and haven’t looked back since. And the best part is after a little withdrawal, I didn’t miss it at all.