Today's FCC vote has me down, so permit me to be a bit blog-u-lent and political in an effort to cheer myself up.

As one who watches the media with a close eye, I'm not looking forward to the mind-numbing corporate blandness that's sure to follow, as it has in radio following a similar move to deregulate that industry. And yet, here's a case where the FCC received "hundreds of thousands" of postcards urging them not to deregulate further; and they did anyway, in the name of the dollar.

This especially hurts if you're a fan of the free press, which I am. In radio, news reporting has seen a sharp decline as the giant radio behemoths have sharply consolidated their news efforts in the wake of deregulation. Entire cities now tend of have only one radio news crew covering stories -- including even Washington, where WTOP is generally the only news presence on the air.

Local flavor has all but completely evaporated, especially in the Washington area where there is no independent or college radio on the airwaves; it's all pre-processed Clear Channel tripe. I expect a similar dumbing down of local television programming and newspaper coverage as a result of the FCC's actions, as big media companies further consolodate their staffs to reap higher profits.

This is not good for our country. We have a long, rich heritage of creative radio and television programming, and a free and diverse press has been vital to our development. These outlets for news and creativity have been taken away from us and stifled.

Basically, Washington is doing its best lately to make the rest of the country be more like itself: only the amount of money you have matters. There will be fewer media companies, and they will all owe the administration a favor. New ideas and creativity will be stifled in the name of profit. There will be less money for goverment projects that are deemed too "socialist", like, you know, education. Freedoms will be reduced in the name of security and paranoia. Races will be divided along strict territorial and economic boundaries. Only those who can afford health care will get it. The rich will fly their helicopters to commute from home in Sterling to work in Landover, bypassing all the nasty homelessness, violence, poverty, and black people underneath.

It will be a country ruled by a few and enjoyed by fewer.

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