Politics

AT&T-Time Warner Merger – Mass Media Consolidation Could Lead the Way to One-Party Rule in The U.S.

att-t time warner media mergerA vibrant and healthy democracy depends on the free marketplace of ideas.

Call it what you want. Viewpoint diversity. Access to alternative views.

In today’s media and information-driven society and culture, being able to find the opposing view on an issue, to compare the pros and cons of public policy matters or different products and services, is critical to how the American people make decisions about just about everything.

What to buy? Who to vote for? What to watch? Which music to listen to? What to wear? The plethora of choices we have today is owed entirely to the openness of the Internet and other media that facilitates and enables brand development.

But what if that process could become compromised or disrupted in a bid to control media? To control what messages were available to the public? This is the very real danger facing policymakers today in an environment increasingly moving towards mass media consolidation.

With federal judge Richard Leon’s approval of the $107 billion AT&T-Time Warner merger, allowing the two companies to combine, the floodgates are opening for content distributors like AT&T — which owns Directv — to also own much of content that plays on those platforms.

Now, Comcast is expected to bid against Disney to buy much of Fox’s media content properties.

So, what’s the problem? Besides the antitrust laws that are invoked by monopolization in any industry, mass media consolidation has meant fewer and fewer companies controlling almost all major media in the country.

A comprehensive Free Press 2018 study on major media ownership finds that just 21 corporations own all the television broadcast stations, 21 that own the radio broadcast stations, 13 that own pay television channels, 11 that own daily newspapers and 18 that own telecom and cable. That number keeps getting smaller every time there’s another merger.

A chapter on the topic in Censored 2006 by Bridget Thornton, Britt Walters and Lori Rouse, “Corporate Media is Corporate America” noted the massive overlap of individuals who sit on the boards at major media outlets and those of non-media corporations.

Then there is the dominance in tech by Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Facebook and Twitter.

Rapidly, the number of separately owned options is dwindling.

Along with media consolidation, there is also a growing call for political consolidation in Washington, D.C. — and even one-party rule.

In April, Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey retweeted an article by Peter Leyden and Ruy Teixeira that called for “Democratic One-Party Rule” in the U.S. as a means of reconciling the nation’s challenges and implementing the progressive agenda. You see, all that debate by Congress and disagreement over which direction to go in is getting in the way of that agenda, so democracy no longer functions the way they want it to. Today’s captains of the information industry are getting impatient. They want to see Utopia in their lifetimes.

It will be anything but.

But leaving that aside, forget about competitive elections, Leyden and Teixeira warn: “America can’t afford more political paralysis. One side or the other must win. This is a civil war that can be won without firing a shot. But it is a fundamental conflict between two worldviews that must be resolved in short order.”

The resolution: “Democratic One-Party Rule.”

Dorsey’s comment was astonishing, writing briefly, “Great read.” Really? What about the part where the authors called for one-party rule? What about the part where they called it a civil war? No?

Just, “Great read,” as if having one political party control the most powerful country in the world to govern with no dissent as the climatic outcome of a civil war “without firing a shot” was just an after-thought for the billionaire.

Who needs alternate viewpoints when there’s media empires to consolidate and an undemocratic agenda to implement? Just hurry up and work it into the afternoon schedule. Dictatorship by close of business. Can we get that yesterday?

Twitter like other social media giants cast themselves as an open platform, a device for free speech basically and the marketplace of ideas. But what if big media doesn’t live up to that and starts censoring political content of one of the two major parties in a bid for absolute power?

Would that be “anti-competitive” enough for Judge Leon to say it might pose an antitrust issue under federal law?

That is why the AT&T-Time Warner merger today is so important for the media landscape of tomorrow, and why the Justice Department must appeal Judge Leon’s decision, all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary.

It may not happen overnight, but we are witnessing the end of media. This is the age of medium. And if we are not careful, one day there may only be one-party rule, too. That will not lead to liberty and prosperity, but to tyranny.

From - Daily Torch - by Robert Romano

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Scottar
3 years ago

This is how the communists and the Nazis took control. Take over the media with propaganda and then nix the competing parties. We have elites with dangerous agendas.

S. Hetzel
3 years ago

ONE-PARTY RULE IS ANOTHER WAY OF SAYING “COMMUNISM’. WHY DON’T THOSE WHO DON’T WANT FREEDOM MOVE TO A COMMUNIST COUNTRY AS FAST AS THEY CAN RUN!!!

Robert Bruck
3 years ago

Majority of our media is extremely biased and controlled. We need Truth, Open Commentary and the “Bill of Rights as created by our fore Fathers who experienced such tyranny. Robert Kennedy may have been assassinated over antitrust issues. Anti trust laws have also been weakened since. Competition is healthy overall control by the elite IS NOT,

Roger chambers PT PhD
3 years ago

We already have a one party rule. Both parties believe that we are a democracy. Is the word democracy found in the Declaration of Independence or in the constitution? No! The word republic is found in article 4 section 4 of the constitution. The founding fathers despised democracies. The feared the tyranny of the one, the few (oligarchies) and the tyranny of the masses (democracies). A republic is a government of laws. The founding father compared democracies to two Wolfe’s and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner. They stated that all democracies always end in tyranny and legalized plunder. The founding fathers hated democracies and massive debt. The dollar today is worth 2 percent of what it was worth in 1913. Because the Feds spend too much, borrow too much, and print too much money. I hate forced government charity. I refer to it as legalized plunder. I believe in voluntary charity (moral agency . I am 71 years old and still work as a physical therapist rehabilitating people half my age who live on entitlements and refuse to work. I have spinosis stenosis and a herniated disc and two years ago had open heart .

jbc
3 years ago

Amen!!!!!!!!

John Craig
3 years ago

We are not a democracy, damn it! This article must have been written by a progressive! We are a Constitutional Republic, because we are governed by a Constitution and its laws provide a line to follow so “we the people” can enjoy a better life, than those that live in a DEMOCRACY, where there is only a one party rule, the majority!

Mark Kiryluk
3 years ago

If Hitler were alive today he would rejoice at the idea of a one party rule. When others start telling you how to think and function you no longer have a free society. Words and new ideas will mean nothing . Be very afraid . We may be heading in that direction. Unfortunately it may already be here. We need to fight for what this country stands for and not let anarchists, socialists and left wingers dictate policy . Stop this madness now. Hopefully Trump can ..

ONTIME
3 years ago

To me it looks to be that major social media companies have gone viral and try to influence free speech, politic and American tradition…this phenomena has it origins here in the US, it has gone world wide and is spawning new wealth around the globe and from what I read and hear, they generate money enough to buy any brand of politic they want….I like free trade but many of these giants are all about the cessation of opposition, entrepreneurism and freedom of choice, perhaps it is time to look at that impending oppression and curtail it’s aim….Capitalism in a Republic such as this should mean freedom not suffocation by a money making corp mogul…….

Liam
3 years ago

We’ve already got one-party rule in this country. We have one political party operating under two separate mastheads, but in reality, are one in the same.

TheUglyTruth
3 years ago
Reply to  Liam

I believe you are right. We currently have Democrat Socialists, and Socialist Light otherwise known as the old guard Republican Party. Conservatives elected are shouted down or ignored, and if that doesn’t work taken down with 15 year old invented scandals, or even attempts on their lives like happened to Steve Scalise and Rand Paul.

Thomas Moyers
3 years ago

There was a period of time where there was only one strong party…back in the 1800’s when the Democratic Party was the only major party. There was the Whig Party but it was weak. So finally in the 1850’s the Republican Party became the alternative party to the Democratic Party. Since then there has been two major parties. Unfortunately its becoming more consolidated as it’s the extreme far left liberals and the establishment GOP are against the remaining conservatives in the GOP. We need more choices not fewer choices. So this merger is horrible as it’s becoming Comcast and AT&T that controls most of the content on television.

CLynn
3 years ago

I have a hard time understanding how we have returned to this point. What happened to all the anti-conglomerate, the break up of monopoly, laws that were enacted? … in my generation I believe. We knew then, and we know now, the nation will not survive if corrupted by these huge takeovers, monopolies, and conglomerates. It is diversity and choice (supply and demand) that made this nation what it is. When there is only one choice, that is no choice, there can be no demand factor. There must be a varied supply for there to be a functional demand.

Steve K
3 years ago

This article is so behind the times & such a pile of crap! Our “free marketplace of ideas” is already slanted/biased with the interpretations of the news by the “media”. The only organization which currently broadcasts the news WITHOUT OPINION is One America. You can actually get the facts there & use it to filter out the biases of Fox, CNN, NBC, MSNBC, etc. (which merely filter the news the way they want you to interpret it). And then they try to deny their bias with the byline “Opinions of the writer are not necessarily the opinions of this organization”….I call BS! Anyway, we don’t want opinions of biased “reporters” crammed down our throats, we want the facts presented so that we can make informed opinions. “Journalists” in major media outlets today are not interested in reporting the news accurately, they want to be FIRST, as evidenced by the tag lines: “First reported by…(insert writer or “news” outlet here). Never in the past have there been as many “corrections of, or amended” reports as there are now. And as for “one party” politics, we already have it. I know it seems like we have Republicans & Democrats, Conservatives & Liberals….but what we really have is politicians & non-politicians! Anytime you have the Bush’s in bed with the Clinton’s (figuratively, not literally) you know there is funny business going on. I find it refreshing that the Trump administration exposes this. In fact, in local elections & primaries, most candidates now rarely accentuate their party affiliation, as they want you to think they are for everyman (& woman). No, we already have one party now & massively biased media. It’s our job to filter out the BS & it appears Twitter & like social media may be our saving grace…(insert laughing/crying/smiley face here!)

Brian
3 years ago

If we get to one party rule, it will be through immigration before it is through media, IMHO.

Stephen Jackson
3 years ago

Merger is a very bad idea. AT&T wins, the public loses.
Both are bad enough now.

C.C. Texas
3 years ago

The danger has been around for a long time. It is even more evident in today’s world. Just reviewing all the negative and attack articles by a HUGE segment of the media against Trump, against Conservatives, against Religion, against Illegal Criminal Aliens, well the list goes on and on. It is not just here in the U.S., just review international media, especially from Europe. The fat cats, having made their billions through the processes championed by Democracy, a Free Market and prior existing laws now want to remove those and replace them with their total control. Believing, I guess, that they are smarter than the average American trying to raise a family in an almost lawless land.

Rik
3 years ago

Heck, here in California, we already have one party rule! … Hint, and it’s not Republicans!

FTW
3 years ago

It is my opinion that our 45th President is creating a new party called The American Party, a party that is inclusive of “ALL” Americans. Out with the old GOP, and in with the new. The likes of Ryan, McConnell etc. represent the old party, the new party is the voice of the middle class, the base of good Americans that have been on ignore for the past 8+ years. A rebirth of Americas principles and values that founded this great country. One party rule..we have already been fighting this for the past 8+ years with the media trying to control the message. All it takes is for Americans to apply critical thought and know the source.
“Rumors are carried by haters, spread by fools, and accepted by idiots.”

Mark Abelli
3 years ago
Reply to  FTW

Love the last quote. And they think we are the fools, the sheeple who follow blindly. It is just the opposite, they keep repeating the same lies, and their followers believe them. Right out of the playbook!

Mark Abelli
3 years ago
Reply to  FTW

I agree but I don’t think they will go down without a serious fight. Just look how they act now since the election they are absolutely insane about Trump winning. There are so blind that they cannot see the good that he has done already. They simply find fault in every single step he takes. This is the end if we don’t fight and fight hard and get everyone on the same page. I’m not sure people like us will want to fight because a lot of us are very comfortable. I am retired so I don’t know if I have enough in me 2 fight the way we need to fight. But if it needs to happen I will support every aspect of a transition.

Maria Gregory
3 years ago
Reply to  FTW

Very well put! I liked your last sentence as that said a whole lot in just a few words……..”RUMORS ARE CARRIED BY HATERS, SPREAD BY FOOLS AND ACCEPTED BY IDIOTS”….so true! And perhaps the The American Party should be born real soon as it does have a good “ring” to it.

Don Landis
3 years ago

A vibrant healthy REPUBLIC depends on the rule of law not the rule of a despot or dictator. Look historically at the one party rule governments. Nazi Germany, Communist, Russia, China, Cuba, etc. ; dictatorships – North Korea, Cambodia, Iraq, Iran. Would you want to live in any of these? American will become like a Nazi Germany slaughtering its citizens to force compliance of all. Debate helps keeps us honest. Since the government in this country is kept under the control of the Constitution the one worlders are using corporations like facebook and twitter which have become manor means to communicate and disseminate ideas stifle communication and ideas which they oppose. Any idea of those who think freely, especially those who think from a Biblical perspective, the wish to silence. The Bible presents things as they ought to be and provides a standard of truth and morality by which we can measure all things: the actions of politicians, pastors, judges, the media/government propaganda, etc. The Bible is like a light in the darkness. Those who do evil do not like the light because it reveals them as they really are and not as their propaganda says they are. They want to extinguish all voices but their own.
When they achieve their one world government and proclaim that we now have peace and safety (They want us to believe that there will be peace and safety if all voices but their own are silenced) they will become the destroyers and terrorists. Who will stand against them then? There will be no one left to stand.

Chuck
3 years ago

I do not like either one of these companies. I don’t trust them in anything they say or do. Unless “We the People” take control of our Universities and the entire educational system we are in great danger of losing our country. The people running our Colleges are Marxist and need to be replaced NOW! President Trump also needs to get George Soros incarcerated as quickly as possible and the rest of his rabble in prison. America needs a re-education on its great history and restore her values according to our Christian-Judeo principles. We are in a war to save our country from being destroyed by Marxists fools.

Sandra Hetzel
3 years ago
Reply to  Chuck

We need to have all the taxpayer money Clinton donated from the State Department to George Soros’s Communist foundations around the world, repaid to this Country. That would probably get our Country out of debt. That wasn’t her money to spend. She was a thief as well as all the rest. Soros belongs in prison also, for his role in the Deep State takeover.

Thomas Olszewski
3 years ago

The snowflakes want to be led not lead.

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