Back in 2003 I went to see the “Tell Us The Truth” tour. Steve Earle, Billy Bragg, The Nightwatchman (Tom Morello), Boots Riley, Lester Chambers, and Mike Mills joining forces to raise awareness about the dangers of media consolidation and the FCC’s recently increased “media ownership cap” which allowed individual networks to control a larger percentage of the national market.
Flash forward to today. Media giant Comcast buys control of MSNBC, which then promptly fires Olbermann, their highest rated host.
Tom Morello’s words from 2003 seem particularly prophetic today.
A few massive corporations will soon control all we see on TV and print and radio, there’s a very narrow number of gatekeepers, and that can be very destabilizing for a democracy. Ten years ago, 50 corporations controlled the major media outlets. Now it’s down to six, and everybody loses except the super-rich at the top.