Tip: When facing a large mess, forget about developing a plan of attack. You’ll only waste time standing around rather than actually making progress. Just reach in, grab the nearest thing, haul it out into the light, and deal with it. Step and repeat. Mind the spiders.
Lots of stuff has piled up in the last few months; so following my own advice, I’m just going to grab one or two items from the pile and drag them out in no particular order. Additional posts will follow as I work my way through the accumulated junk.
Proposed COMCAST / Time Warner Merger
While this has been pushed back in the news by impending climate catastrophe, revival of the cold war, and planes falling from the sky, this is still something you should be paying attention to. After all, it would really suck to not have anything decent to watch on TV as the world crumbles. The New York Times continues its “who the hell knows, make up your own damned mind about things” approach to covering the COMCAST deal, with a positive article in today’s business section by James B. Stewart- A Vision Beyond Cable for Comcast After Merger . This merger-friendly article contrasts with a piece by David Carr on Feb. 16- Stealthily, Comcast Fortifies its Arsenal, as well as a doubtful editorial on Feb. 13- If a Cable Giant Becomes Bigger. I find it hysterical that Stewart, supporter of COMCAST taking over Time Warner, mentions he’s a Time Warner customer and hates them. Carr, in opposition to the deal, states he’s a customer of COMCAST, and loathes them.
Susan Crawford, author of “Captive Audience- The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age” has also spoken out in opposition to the merger. In a presentation at Harvard on March 04 and also in an interview with the Harvard Law Record, she gives numerous reasons for concluding the merger will not be good for consumers. Here’s an excerpt from her interview:
For most Americans, the only choice for high capacity Internet connection is their local cable monopoly, . . . A Comcast-Time Warner merger would make an already terrible situation incrementally worse in that Comcast would have additional scale. And scale is the secret to this business. -Susan Crawford
The NY Times had another interesting piece by Eric Lipton, on Feb. 20- COMCAST’s Web of Lobbying and Philanthropy that focused on COMCAST’s lobbying machine, and mentioned that former Sen. Don Nickles, the Copyright Alliance’s facilitator, is now on COMCAST’s newly formed merger strategy team. The article digs into the web of charities and special interest groups that receive support from COMCAST and which might now be expected to lend a hand in getting the merger with Time Warner approved.
But don’t worry, Graphic Artists Guild members and defenders of the Copyright Alliance!! I’m sure this has nothing to do with you. Oh, wait, that’s right, the Copyright Alliance lobbyists work for Sen. Nickles at the Nickles Group LLC, and Executive Director Sandra Aistars was a Time Warner VP before coming to the Alliance. Move along! Nothing to see here, folks.