December 11, 2003

Unconstitutional Amendment

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Howard Dean was already considered a frontrunner for the Democrat presidential nominee before Al Gore endorsed him this week. Now he's virtually a shoe-in, which is all the more reason to take a close look at the policies he's advocating. Last week we criticized Dean for his unwillingness to deal forcibly with terrorist-sponsoring states. In the same Chris Matthews' interview, Dean also revealed his desire to use the power of the FCC to inject his vision of "democracy" into big media, all at the expense of free speech. This is otherwise known as censorship.

To read the relevant passage from the interview, click the link below.

DEAN: I would reverse [deregulation] in some areas. First of all, 11 companies in this country control 90 percent of what ordinary people are able to read and watch on their television. Thatís wrong. We need to have a wide variety of opinions in every community. We donít have that because of Michael Powell and what George Bush has tried to do to the FCC.

MATTHEWS: Would you break up Fox?

† † † †(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: Iím serious.

DEAN: Iím keeping a...

MATTHEWS: Would you break it up? Rupert Murdoch has ďThe Weekly Standard.Ē It has got a lot of other interests. It has got ďThe New York Post.Ē Would you break it up?

DEAN: On ideological grounds, absolutely yes, but...

† † † †(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: No, seriously. As a public policy, would you bring industrial policy to bear and break up these conglomerations of power?

DEAN: I donít want to answer whether I would break up Fox or not, because, obviously

† † † †(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Well, how about large media enterprises?

DEAN: Let me-yes, let me get...

† † † †(LAUGHTER)

DEAN: The answer to that is yes. I would say that there is too much penetration by single corporations in media markets all over this country. We need locally-owned radio stations. There are only two or three radio stations left in the state of Vermont where you can get local news anymore. The rest of it is read and ripped from the AP.

MATTHEWS: So what are you going to do about it? Youíre going to be president of the United States, what are you going to do?

DEAN: What Iím going to do is appoint people to the FCC that believe democracy depends on getting information from all portions of the political spectrum, not just one.

MATTHEWS: Well, would you break up GE?

† † † †(APPLAUSE)

DEAN: I canít-you...

MATTHEWS: GE just buys Universal. Would you do something there about that? Would you stop that from happening?

DEAN: You canít say-you canít ask me right now and get an answer, would I break up X corp...

MATTHEWS: Weíve got to do it now, because now is the only chance we can ask you, because, once you are in, we have got to live with you.

† † † †(LAUGHTER)

DEAN: No.

MATTHEWS: So, if you are going to do it, you have got to tell us now.

† † † †(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Are you going to break up the giant media enterprises in this country?

DEAN: Yes, weíre going to break up giant media enterprises. That doesnít mean weíre going to break up all of GE. What weíre going to do is say that media enterprises canít be as big as they are today. I donít think we actually have to break them up, which Teddy Roosevelt had to do with the leftovers from the McKinley administration.

† † † †(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: ... regulate them.

DEAN: You have got to say that there has to be a limit as to how-if the state has an interest, which it does, in preserving democracy, then there has to be a limitation on how deeply the media companies can penetrate every single community. To the extent of even having two or three or four outlets in a single community, that kind of information control is not compatible with democracy.

Posted by Forkum at December 11, 2003 07:20 AM
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