The noise is deafening … and mostly empty. He said/She said all the time. “Gotcha” politics. Sound bites instead of discussion. Fingers pointing. False accusations. Stampedes heading nowhere. It’s time to bring back protest songs … dig up an old 45rpm of "Eve of Destruction," find an old Pete Seeger album, re-discover Phil Ochs.
Buffalo Springfield had it right. But, of course, Stephen Stills would have to update it just a bit:
There's something happening here
What it is, is way too clear
There's a man with a gun over there
Shooting a video killing affair
I think it's time we stop, people, what's that sound
Everybody Google what’s goin’ down
There's battle lines being drawn
Nobody's right if everybody's wrong
Loud mouths speaking their minds
Politicians and pundits putting drawing lines
It's time we stop, hey, play a trump
Got to get ready to parry a thump
What a field-day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Crowds chanting, clapping utter nonsense
All the while saying it’s a new progress
It's time we stop, hey, pay attention
Everybody’s coping with frightening tension
Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you get un-friended
And goes on to break anything open-minded
We better stop, hey, coming at-ya
All that matters is when we gotcha
Reality TV ain’t real
But, hey, it’s all about how you feel
Social media isn’t the new reality
Social media is just another locality
Stop, hey, too much media
Put down the smartphone and turn off the damn TV, radio and Internet!
The retrans mess … so the Chairman of the Federal Confusion Commission threatened to do something about it, kind of; he called a meeting. Meaningful? Well you decide. It did, however, presage a temporary truce between the fine folks at Sinclair Broadcasting and the fine folks at DISH. Somehow, I actually think they deserve one another. Sinclair denied Wheeler had anything to do with the new signing, though.
The National Association of Broadcasters had just warned the FCC to look out for “bad actors” -- meaning MVPDs -- causing blackouts just to embarrass broadcasters and semi-embarrass the FCC into doing something about the recurring blackouts by shifting the leverages. NAB, naturally, didn’t look in a mirror when it made that accusation. It should have.
The broadcasters have a heads-I-win, tails-you-lose deal now and everyone knows it. That doesn’t mean they should.
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