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April 04, 2014

How Comcast Bought the Democratic Party

The appellation "Democrat-Media Complex" is more than just a jibe.

The communications giant Comcast announced in February that it would buy Time Warner Cable for $45 billion, creating the largest cable provider in America, with more than 33 million customers. That is about one third of the U.S. cable and satellite television market. FCC approval is required for the merger to go into effect. Critics of the deal say it would lessen competition and lead to even shoddier customer service. They are probably right, as all of us will soon find out, because there is little chance the merger will be stopped. Comcast, Time Warner, and their political fixers have spent years preparing for this momentóby buying off the Democratic Party.

Continetti ticks off Comcast's lavish donations to the Democrats, and Time Warner's as well. He throws up his hands at trying to estimate the value of the in-kind donations NBC and its parent company MSNBC provide the Democrat Party through relentless pro-Obama and anti-Obama-critic messaging, though he does ballpark this value at somewhere between "huge" and "felonious." (My words, not his.)

And yet the Republicans are not making an issue of this merger.

It is something of a political irony that Republicans, who for ideological reasons are pro-business, have not raised questions about, or objections to, the conjoining of two Democratic institutions into a media trust. If Republicans had any sense, they would wage war against Comcast and its Democratic enablers and turn the merger into a live issue. Needless to say they have not done so, perhaps in the wrongheaded and futile hope of scraps from the table of the Comcast cable beast, perhaps in the foolish and selfish notion that David Cohen may one day add another man to his company of lobbyists.

...

Imagine the noises from MSNBC if the merger involved Rupert Murdoch or Glenn Beck or Sheldon Adelson or the K-O-C-H brothers. Criticism would lead the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, Costas would interrupt a Sunday Night Football game to decry corporate consolidation, Fallon would crack wise in his monologue.

Thanks to @benk84. Follow him on Twitter, or be Othered.


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posted by Ace at 02:23 PM

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