Monday, August 02, 2004

Ted Turner: On The Dangerous Consolidation Of Media Power

My Beef With Big Media
How government protects big media--and shuts out upstarts like me.
by Ted Turner, Washington Monthly, July/August 2004


"Consolidation has given big media companies new power over what is said not just on the air, but off it as well. Cumulus Media banned the Dixie Chicks on its 42 country music stations for 30 days after lead singer Natalie Maines criticized President Bush for the war in Iraq. It's hard to imagine Cumulus would have been so bold if its listeners had more of a choice in country music stations. And Disney recently provoked an uproar when it prevented its subsidiary Miramax from distributing Michael Moore's film Fahrenheit 9/11 . As a senior Disney executive told The New York Times : "It's not in the interest of any major corporation to be dragged into a highly charged partisan political battle." Follow the logic, and you can see what lies ahead: If the only media companies are major corporations, controversial and dissenting views may not be aired at all."