Source: Silent Majority Patriots
When people discuss the failures of the Bill Clinton Presidency, they often bring up three items to back it up. They talk about the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, they talk about his welfare reformation, and they discuss the Telecommunications Act of 1996. It’s hard to say what the most destructive one was, but make no mistake; they were all bad.
Now you might be asking why the Telecommunications Act of 1996 is so bad. Well as Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting has put it, it was “essentially bought and paid for by corporate media lobbies,” and “opened the floodgates on mergers.” That is extremely important to note.
According to Robert McChesney, this act “is widely considered to be one of the three or four most important federal laws of this generation.” The reason? Well it reduced important Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations on cross ownership. That allowed giant media corporations to buy up different media outlets that numbered in the thousands. Not only that, but as a side effect, the giant corporations increased their monopoly on information flow across the world.
Twenty years after this bill was signed into law, the effects are disgusting. Nearly 90 percent of the United States major media companies are owned by just SIX corporations. There is more wrong with it than you think.
The media was supposed to serve as a watchdog for the people of the United States. Since this law was enacted twenty years ago, that has changed. With so much of the media owned by only six corporations, they effectively have a monopoly on the news.
Media companies have made drastic attempts to gain some influence with Congress. The reason for this is to get a gigantic presence with the politicians in both parties to attempt to consolidate, privatize, and allow commodifying of the Internet. Essentially what they want to do is have politicians create laws that would help them gain more control over the Internet.
That isn’t good for the average media consumer. If they wanted to start a media business they wouldn’t be able to. The bigger groups would either crush them or just buy them out. That isn’t good for consumerism. It also isn’t good for Democracy.
It’s not good for democracy because of the amount of control that the media has. If the majority of the media is constantly telling us who to vote for, then there goes the very concept of being able to choose who you want.
Keep in mind the person that signed this act into law. That would be former President Bill Clinton. His wife, Hillary Clinton, is now the Democratic nominee for President of the United States. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to you that the “Big Media” lobby has decided to back her.
According to data from the Center for Responsive Politics, the media giants have donated a lot more to her than any other candidate. Why wouldn’t they? Her husband was the person that originally gave them this power. Now they are going to back her and attempt to have her give them more power than they already have.
The Telecommunications Act of 1996 was supposed to create more competition in the media field. It did the opposite instead. This was from S. Derek Turner, a research director of Free Press in a 2009 report. “Before the ink was even dry on the 1996 Act, the powerful media and telecommunications giants and their army of overpaid lobbyists went straight to work obstructing and undermining the competition the new law was intended to create.”
Even before 1996, there was worry about media consolidation. Back in 1983, it was shown that 50 corporations had control of 90 percent of the media. Flash forward to today, and that number is down to six, and the six are as follows: Viacom, News Corporation, Comcast, CBS, Time Warner, and Disney.
You might still be wondering why this is a big deal. As stated earlier, these six corporations almost have a monopoly on the entire media spectrum. Not to mention that they have a healthy relationship with Clinton. Seeing as they donate a tremendous amount to her, they might soon ask her to come out against net neutrality.
Net Neutrality is a term used to protect the Internet and label it a public utility that has equal access to everyone. Naturally the media companies are against it. They want to do whatever they can to make sure that they can use the Internet to make more money than they already have.
This goes back to Clinton. Her relationship with the big media companies has resulted in the fact that most of the big groups have donated to her personally. Even more of them have donated to the Clinton Foundation.
Now Clinton has said that she was a supporter of Net Neutrality, but given her relationship with the giant media corporations, that can surely change. If she does change her views, then it could be drastically worse than the Act her husband signed just twenty years ago.
Essentially what this means is that while media reform has been around before the Act of 1996, it has done a lot more harm than good. And now the fight is being brought to the Internet. If the media is allowed to have control over the Internet, then we would no longer be able to choose what we want to say or do.
Given the fact that the major media groups are donating heavily to Clinton, they are going to want a say so in political actions that would directly benefit them. So share this article to show the power that the media is trying to have in Washington. It isn’t a stretch to say that Democracy is on the line, especially considering we don’t know what could happen if Clinton were to win.