September 5, 2009

How can Obama keep claiming prime network time...

... with no time given for a response from his opponents?

The networks don't like giving up their ad money, and on top of that, they are being turned into channels of state propaganda. I hope the ratings are terrible, and I'm pretty sure they will be. Why would anyone watch at this point? Even if you love the Prez, why tune in for multiple performances as if he's your favorite pop star?

62 comments:

miller said...

He's the President and everything he says, does, and wants is not only fascinating but mandatory viewing.

WV: sessyi, a new NPR word game for Quakers.

Michael Hasenstab said...

...they are being turned into channels of state propaganda.

The major networks have not been turned into channels of state propaganda. They have willingly volunteered, especially NBC whose parent corporation, GE, stands to profit handsomely when Cap and Trade is signed into law.

You did know, didn't you, that GE's president, Jeffrey Immelt had a hand in writing the stimulus bill?

Paddy O. said...

They could make it interesting, if Obama had a sense of fun about him.

Make it America's Top President. He gives his speech then has three panelists (one would have to be Simon Cowell) give a judgment.

If he let Sarah Palin perform on the show afterwards that would help ratings even more.

But, to present then stand before analysis requires a confidence in self and position that I don't think Obama has. Plus, there's the bit about "respect for the office" but I think that's pretty much been gone since Eisenhower left.

Synova said...

Don't his opponents HAVE to be given equal time?

MayBee said...

The youth will be watching So You Think You Can Dance.

So will I.

Will he release the text in advance, so some unwashed, unelected press person can vet our President's words?

edutcher said...

At least he didn't want the time when the new season was premiering. Given the trouble the nets are having with viewership, they might actually respond with some critical reporting from their news divisions.

WV "zintinel" - the drink of choice on guard duty.

Florida said...

"Don't his opponents HAVE to be given equal time?"

No. And they shouldn't be (otherwise, Democrats will demand equal time on Rush Limbaugh's show).

Fox should definitely refuse to air the Democrat propaganda again if only to point out those networks, such as GE, who are doing so only to launder their illegal donations to the Obama '12 Campaign Committee.

PatCA said...

Yes, as Michael said, they are giving him time because they're getting something in return.

All of this is nearly harmless. We can disparage the propaganda machine and watch something even more dopey, but when the Dems achieve their goal of a government-dependent majority, we will be in trouble. 45% of Americans now pay no income tax. When it's 51%, Obama will be laughing at us.

(WV, bectfi, how Glenn Beck is changing America.)

John Lynch said...

Responses to presidential speeches are always lame. I believed that the Democratic responses to W's speeches made him look good.

rhhardin said...

I'd make it a game show.

Bring in the hope and change audience.

Health care and three doors.

Michael Hasenstab said...

I'd make it a game show.

What's My Lie?

REVULVR said...

But wait, Ann... You don't watch TV on "prime network time", do you? I'll bet most of the people commenting here don't. I don't.

The most productive solution isn't to complain about propaganda on broadcast television-- broadcast television was built out in the post-WWII world, one that was saturated with propaganda. Network television is all about propaganda! Propaganda for the two-party system, for the Democrats or the Republicans, one or both...

"...with no time given for a response from his opponents?"

Who are these opponents? You probably mean Republicans, but they aren't really opponents because both sides agree on the basics of how to conduct business and how to maintain their politico-media duopoly!

How about Al-Quaeda? Now those evil bastards surely qualify as "opponents". Let's give them some prime network time to respond!

former law student said...

Don't his opponents HAVE to be given equal time?

The Equal Time doctrine applies only to candidates in political campaigns. We haven't reached the point of non-stop campaigning yet, although I did see a bumpersticker the other day counting down to the end of Obama's first term (01.19.13 if I recall correctly).

There used to be a Fairness Doctrine, established by the FCC, mandating that opposing views be presented. But Reagan's FCC dismantled it, and Reagan vetoed a bill that would have made it statutory. Live by shrinking government control, die by shrinking government control, I guess.

EDH said...

Florida said...
"Don't his opponents HAVE to be given equal time?"

No. And they shouldn't be (otherwise, Democrats will demand equal time on Rush Limbaugh's show).


I respectfully disagree. What Obama's claim on network time and the "Fairness Doctrine" have in common is the heavy hand of government telling broadcasters what content they must carry.

It's completely different matter when people expect a response from the opposition when the speaker gets his time solely because of his political office. The reponse is intended to even-out the initial exertion of power by the government, or at least the party in control of the executive branch.

Limbaugh is on the air because people demand his program; the radio stations broadcast his show because servicing that private demand is the best way for them to earn a profit.

Any exertion of government power to require "fairness" vis-a-vis Rush would not be aimed at balancing the use of government power over broadcast content.

wv - "antlent" = religious period during which ants ascetically refrain from ruining picnics

former law student said...

It's completely different matter when people expect a response from the opposition when the speaker gets his time solely because of his political office. The reponse is intended to even-out the initial exertion of power by the government, or at least the party in control of the executive branch.

Sounds like a good system for a parliamentary government, where there is a shadow cabinet prepared to step into each ministry. Who would be the GOP's shadow President -- the anti-Obama as it were? Palin? Huckabee? Mitt?

AllenS said...

I'd make it a game show. How about a soap opera:

As My World Turns.

madawaskan said...

All My Czars

campy said...

300 Million Lives To Rule

EDH said...

A soap opera about health care rationing...

The Old and the Beautiful

And, if the US enacts the European Convention on Human Rights...

Genital Hospital

Chase said...

Through Clinton's years, I used to think that the networks should televise every Presidential Speech Before Congress. But with News Channels which will always carry such things available to over 95% of the American Public, such politically partisan speeches as this one will be needn't be carried by all of the networks. And I began feeling that way when W was in office, and I an one of his biggest fans.

Robert Cook said...

"Don't his opponents HAVE to be given equal time?"

Former Law Student already amply answered this, but he didn't point out that it was the right wing extremists who only months ago were wetting their pants in a panic--apropos of no actual policy statements by the Obama administration--that Obama was going to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine! Oh my God!!

As for the broadcasting networks becoming channels of state propaganda, this they have been for some time, to the degree that they are voices for their corporate owners, who heavily influence much of what goes on in Washington. Where corporate interests coincide with those of official Washington, then official Washington voices are heard more often and receive more positive coverage; where pending or actual Washinton policy diverges from corporate interests, official Washington voices are heard less often and receive more negative coverage.

During Bush's disastrous tenure in office, we heard and saw mostly Republicans and representatives of right wing think tanks all over the public interest programs, with nary a discouraging word from White House reporters or tv commentators concerning Bush's terrible and often lawless policies; now that Obama is in office and the Democrats have majorities in office, we hear and see...mostly Republicans and representatives of right wing think tanks all over the public interest programs...including former officials of the Bush administration--and their children, going on and on about the simply terrible policies of Obama, policies surely to destroy our republic in their unconstitutional criminality. (Of course, Obama is carrying on with some terrible and unconstitutional policies...policies carried over from the Bush administration, although these don't seem to be the subject of opprobrium so much by these Republican and right wing spokespersons who continue to litter the public interest programs like roaches at a frat house after an all night beer bash and pizza party.)

So, I'll amend my original comment: the broadcasting channels are organs of propaganda, but of primarily corporate propaganda; it's just that the state is more and more merely a facilitator and adjunct to corporate power, so corporate propaganda becomes very often synonymous or contruent with state propaganda.

Freeman Hunt said...

Robert, I understand that you don't like corporate power. So, why do you like state power? Why is absolute power at the point of a gun better more acceptable to you?

Jason (the commenter) said...

The bully pulpit doesn't work if you are so boring no one wants to listen. Every time he interrupts television for an 'important' speech and he says nothing new or interesting all he does is make it look like he's out of touch or delusional.

Obama is his own worst enemy.

former law student said...

But with News Channels which will always carry such things available to over 95% of the American Public

I expect to see a lot of people dropping cable in favor of a roof antenna. To get the two channels we watch most, we must buy a package that costs close to $1000 a year. It's not worth it.

Crimso said...

"with nary a discouraging word from White House reporters or tv commentators concerning Bush's terrible and often lawless policies"

Hiya Rip! Have a nice long rest? You've sure got a lot to catch up on!

David said...

A response becomes unnecessary to a man who is increasingly supplying his own refutation.

David said...

madawaskan said...
"All My Czars"

How about "Czar 54, where are you?"

AlphaLiberal said...

Althouse is such a knee jerk con.

Because he is our President and we are going through historical challenges.

Just because President Mumbles had to hide from the cameras, you want to apply the same low standards. You're jealous.

Joe said...

PBS almost always carries presidential speeches and most people get PBS so why should the networks even bother?

(Because congress would hold it over them otherwise--if networks and TV stations turn their nose up at the president, imagine what they'd do with their local elected idiot.)

PS. Whither this rewrite of history where no discouraging word could be heard about Bush. Did you live under a rock for the last eight years?

madawaskan said...

The Obama Administration have valuation problems so they would call the sorting room-

The Young and the Useless

Based on this column from one of his "health care advisors".
Dr. Emanuel is a special adviser to the budget director, Peter R. Orszag. [NYT]

Ezekiel Emmanuel{ Rahm's brother}:

Regardless, a refined view has emerged that begins to create an overlap between liberalism and communitarianism. This overlap inspires hope for making progress on the just allocation of health care resources. This refined view distinguishes issues within the political sphere into four types: (1) issues related to constitutional rights and liberties; (2) issues related to opportunities, including health care and education; (3) issues related to the distribution of wealth such as tax policies; and (4) other political matters that may not be matters of justice but are matters of the common good, such as environmental policies and defense policies. While there still may be disagreement about the need for a neutral justification for rights and liberties, there is consensus between communitarians and liberals that policies regarding opportunities, wealth, and matters of the common good can only be justified by appeal to a particular conception of the good.[...] We may go even further. Without overstating it (and without fully defending it) not only is there a consensus about the need for a conception of the good, there may even be a consensus about the particular conception of the good that should inform policies on these nonconstitutional political issues.
Communitarians endorse civic republicanism and a growing number of liberals endorse some version of deliberative democracy. Both envision a need for citizens who are independent and responsible and for public forums that present citizens with opportunities to enter into public deliberations on social policies.
This civic republican or deliberative democratic conception of the good provides both procedural and substantive insights for developing a just allocation of health care resources. Procedurally, it suggests the need for public forums to deliberate about which health services should be considered basic and should be socially guaranteed. Substantively, it suggests services that promote the continuation of the polity-those that ensure healthy future generations, ensure development of practical reasoning skills, and ensure full and active participation by citizens in public deliberations-are to be socially guaranteed as basic. Conversely, services provided to individuals who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens are not basic and should not be guaranteed. An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia.


ncpa.org

AlphaLiberal said...

Althouse is such a knee jerk con.

Because he is our President and we are going through historical challenges.

Just because President Mumbles had to hide from the cameras, you want to apply the same low standards. You're jealous.

AlphaLiberal said...

This is an excellent point! Thanks!

(Funny, too, how con's can't even see their double standards).

"Don't his opponents HAVE to be given equal time?"

Former Law Student already amply answered this, but he didn't point out that it was the right wing extremists who only months ago were wetting their pants in a panic--apropos of no actual policy statements by the Obama administration--that Obama was going to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine! Oh my God!!

madawaskan said...

David-

Czar 54, where are you?

LOL!

How about

Czar 994, where are you?

[that would be more like it..ha!]

AlphaLiberal said...

Crimso speaks out from deep inside the Republican media cocoon:

"with nary a discouraging word from White House reporters or tv commentators concerning Bush's terrible and often lawless policies"

Hiya Rip! Have a nice long rest? You've sure got a lot to catch up on!
.

Warrantless wiretapping, torture is violation of US law and treaties, using Dept of Justice to prosecute political opponents...

The list goes on and on. Republicans today are deeply corrupt and follow the crook Nixon more than Reagan.

AlphaLiberal said...

Czar 54, where are you? .

Good parrot. Have a cracker.

I heard Reagan's Drug czar Williman Bennet talking about "czars", too.

Just like Reagan used teleprompters, etc.

Republicans are getting dumber and dumber. Now they want to tech their kids to skip school and disrespect the President.

madawaskan said...

The new word is-

communitarianism people!

Learn it, know it, love it...

madawaskan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
madawaskan said...

Alpha-

Now they want to tech[sic] their kids to skip school and disrespect the President.

Alpha I don't want anybody "teching" the kids...

Crimso said...

Well AL, you'd be on the mark were I a Republican. I defy you to demonstrate in any tangible way (not just your opinion) that I am a Republican. Otherwise, I would appreciate an apology.

"Warrantless wiretapping, torture is violation of US law and treaties, using Dept of Justice to prosecute political opponents...

The list goes on and on. Republicans today are deeply corrupt and follow the crook Nixon more than Reagan."

Are you laughably asserting there was "nary a discouraging word from White House reporters or tv commentators concerning Bush's terrible and often lawless policies?"

daubiere said...

i like the idea of this Alpha liberal character calling someone else "knee jerk". dude, from what i've read of your comments you have the fastest involuntary response to lefty stimulus that ive ever seen. you should be studied in medical schools.

EDH said...

Ode to health care rationing...

The Communards, Don't Leave Me this Way

Don't leave me this way
I don't understand how I'm at your command
So baby please, so don't you leave me this way

Robert Cook said...

"Robert, I understand that you don't like corporate power. So, why do you like state power? Why is absolute power at the point of a gun better more acceptable to you?

Who says I like state power? (I certainly abhor power at the point of a gun, but I no less abhor power compelled by the dictates of great wealth...which ultimately will use the point of a gun when all else fails. What have most of our wars been but subterfuges by which corporations have stolen the resources of other lands for their own aggrandizement of wealth? Rather than fighting and dying to “protect our freedoms,” our soldiers have historically fought and died largely to insure greater profits for the great institutions of wealth present and past. But, I get ahead of myself.)

In America, under our Constitution, "we, the people" are the "state power," at least, in theory and ideally. Corporate power, on the other hand, is responsive only to the exigencies of amassing wealth.

Through citizen engagement with the issues of the times, “we, the people” author state policy through our representatives in Congress. The state is, or should be, representative of and responsive to our will. To the degree our government is so representative of us, “state power” can be tolerated and utilized for our benefit, to “promote the general welfare,” and to do that which we as individuals cannot.

Unfortunately, for such a system to work in our interests, "we, the people" must be engaged in the issues, informed, and constantly attentive to the actions of those who work for us. Who watches the Watchmen? WE DO.

Too few citizens, though, for many reasons, are engaged with the issues or attentive to those we elect to serve us, and to the extent we are engaged and attentive, we're ill-served and ill-informed—impeded in our capacity for self-determination--by our news organs, which, owned in greater and greater numbers by fewer and fewer large corporations, are not actually "free" to inform us, if that information may reflect badly upon their corporate owners or if it runs contrary to corporate interests. As the corporations, through their campaign donations to aspirants for office, have gained greater influence over those who are elected, "our" representatives become, mostly, representatives of the corporations. The corporations have amassed and consolidated great economic and political power: they largely control the information which “we, the people” receive, and which is vital to our ability to make well-informed decisions pertaining to our self-governance; they wield overwhelming influence over the men and women who are, titularly, our representatives, thus perverting the rightful flow of power from citizen to state to, instead, from corporation to state. Like a parasite which acquires control over its host's autonomy, eating away internally until the host is left a husk, corporate power and wealth wrest from us our autonomy, as expressed through our rightful power over decisions of state, and we are left with but a husk of a democratic state. We're left with the vestigial organs of a democracy—the “free” press, elections, and so on—but in truth “we, the people” have less and less real influence over the decisions that are made in our name and that affect our lives.

This does not have to do with the innate nature of our Constitutional government, but with the corruption of the rightful flow of power. Conservatives who scorn “government” qua government—e.g., Reagan's wrong-headed remark that “Government is not a solution to our problem, government is the problem"--miss the point entirely of the American experiment. By refusing to acknowledge the government as the voice of the people, but viewing it as an institution apart, as a priori a tyranny, and to the degree they convince the public of the validity of this nihilistic misperception, they divorce the true authors of state power—the people—from their rightful exercise of power. In our absence, the corporations usurp us. We are become serfs.

Iapetus said...

"I'd make it a game show."

Deal or No Deal.

WV: ditorme, da Velvet Voice

madawaskan said...

OK one of my nastier friends just suggested-

Fringe...

Paul Zrimsek said...

Government: Authentic instrument of the will of the people and executive committee of the bourgeoisie! It's a potent combination.

Gretchen said...

President Obama actually believes that the sheer force of his personality will compel the American people into believing in his programs. He belives that American school children will do better in school just because he tells them to do better. He thinks American adults, like school children will embrace government run healthcare once we hear the message from him. It's pathological really.

elHombre said...

We haven't reached the point of non-stop campaigning yet ....

Of course we have. That is exactly what Obama is doing.

EnigmatiCore said...

Being turned into, or being revealed to be?

EKatz said...

"The list goes on and on. Republicans today are deeply corrupt and follow the crook Nixon more than Reagan."

Of course it's only the Republicans; greed and lust for power are not bipartisan qualities. Recent examples of deeply corrupt Republicans include: Charlie Rangel, William Jefferson, Chris Dodd... wait a second...

blake said...

Obama is his own worst enemy

Aren't we all?

blake said...

The non-stop campaigning is gonna hurt him. A lot.

I don't know about y'all, but I'm sick of all the candidates by the time the season is over. Four years more?

Ugh.

Synova said...

My impression was that the Fairness Doctrine applied to private citizens. I don't see this as functionally the same thing as equal time for elected officials giving political speeches.

I suppose I was thinking of campaign rules. It still seems odd, though, can Obama expect to have his speeches carried just because he wants them to be. Does he have to pay for it? From what fund? Do we pay for it, or do networks just have to eat the cost?

blake said...

Synova,

The networks eat it.

JAL said...

OT

You know it gets worse. Maybe he's really dying to be the Number One story every. single. day.

Obama is going to preside over a UN Security Council meeting September 24. Unprecedented. Historic! Bizarre.

His agenda neglects some small details like N Korea and Iran.

I really never imagined it would be this bad.

wv = micabi
Probably related to macacca

Robert Cook said...

"It still seems odd, though, can Obama expect to have his speeches carried just because he wants them to be. Does he have to pay for it? From what fund? Do we pay for it, or do networks just have to eat the cost?"

If you haven't noticed, fewer networks do show Presidential speeches and news conferences than used to be the case. There are also many more networks available than formerly. We can always choose not to watch the President, and my guess is most people don't watch him. The net result is that the President has far less omnipresence on television than was once so.

As for whether the networks eat the time or whether we pay for the time, I don't know, but your question does imply a view that the networks own their airwaves, to do with as they will. This is not the case. At least in the case of broadcast networks, we the people own the airwaves--the bandwidth--and the networks are licensed to use them for periods of time. They must renew these licenses periodically, and theoretically, they can have their licenses revoked.

Here's a site that discusses some of the obligations broadcasters agree to in order to obtain their licenses:

http://www.hearusnow.org/tvradio/14/

Here's a paragraph from the site:

"The federal government, through the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) grants licenses for defined periods of time to TV and radio broadcasters, in return for which the broadcasters must provide broadcast programming that serves the "public interest." Since its creation as a regulatory agency in 1934, the FCC has had the responsibility for defining the "public interest" and ensuring that broadcasters meet their obligations. Many media experts argue that lax FCC oversight and enforcement has created an environment where broadcasters are not truly meeting their responsibility to serve the public interest."

And another:

"Because they operate using radio frequencies owned by the public, at the end of their license terms, TV and radio broadcasters must file applications with the FCC for the renewal of their licenses that demonstrate they have served the public interest in operating their stations. Their audience – the public – has the right to participate in renewal proceedings. Only in relatively rare cases have stations lost their licenses for failure to serve the public interest; such cases have involved very serious FCC rule violations. The FCC has tended to enforce rules through imposing fines on broadcasters, like the fines on stations that air obscene material."

So, if the broadcasters must eat the time for the President's speech--and again, I don't know if they do or not--this is part of the price they pay for maintaining virtually monopoly access to our ourwaves, from which they have reaped kingly fortunes for decades.

former law student said...

I have a breakthrough idea: Let the GOP propose a comprehensive health care reform plan (not just: limit malpractice awards and let a thousand flowers bloom). Then one of their leaders can present it to the American people at a news conference. (Michael Steele? Governor Sanborn? Senator Ensign? Private Citizen Sarah Palin?)

I'm fairly certain that making actual news would lead to actual network coverage.

miller said...

1. The Republicans have proposed their own plans for reform. Again and again. But, as you might have noticed, the "We Won" Democrats don't much care to pay attention to it.
2. There is a false assumption that what is needed is simply a "health care reform" plan, whether it's provided by the Republicans or the Democrats. Maybe the Republicans are smart enough to see the false assumption of "there is a health care crisis." There isn't a crisis. There are some market distortions and some people who are not covered by health insurance. But the lies about 50 million uninsured == health care crisis need to be exposed. Over and over again.

WV: psycho (true fact! I have a screen shot), as in "The desire of the Democrats to take over 17% of the national economy after 3 weeks of planning is just psycho."

Crimso said...

Really, though, Miller, what could possibly go wrong?

TW: sesche: an individual who is a citizen of an entity that rather than secedes is instead ceded.

Crimso said...

Still waiting for that apology, AL. Don't appreciate being called an asshole without reason (and thee are many, many legitimate reasons for doing so, just not yours). And yes, you did call me an asshole. You called me a Republican, and around the same time on another thread you declared all Republicans assholes. Tell me, AL, how long have you been a devotee of Pol Pot and his ways? What's that? You're not? Quit making shit up about me, and I'll quit making shit up about you. Keep it up and I'll run for fucking Congress as an Democrat just to spite you (and I'm not remotely kidding).

miller said...

D: There is a crisis!
R: There is no crisis!
D: There is a crisis, and here's our plan
R: We reject your plan.
D: OK, come up with your own plan.
R: We have no plan.
D: REPUBLICANS HAVE NO PLAN!
R: We have no plan, because there is no crisis.
D: We have a plan, but it's politically unpopular, so you need to sign on to it, too, so it's bipartisan. After all, there IS a crisis.
R: We aren't signing on to your plan.
D: REPUBLICANS ARE PLAYING POLITICS!
R: We aren't signing on to your plan, because we don't think there's a crisis.
D: Our President supports us.
R: We don't support you.
D: YOU DON'T SUPPORT THE PRESIDENT! YOU ARE UN-AMERICAN AND RACIST!
R: We don't support the plan or the assumption that there is a crisis. Now go back to clutching your pearls.

I'm pretty sure this is how it will play out, over and over.

WV: hessolmo, David Hasslehoff with a Ph.D. in Philosophy.

miller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
former law student said...

miller explains it all quite well.

Republicans' all-time favorite rock album:

http://www.amazon.com/Crisis-What-Supertramp/dp/B000068FXR/ref=ntt_mus_ep_dpi_lnk

New GOP animal emblem, replacing elephant:

http://americasvoiceonline.org/page/-/americasvoice/images/GOPostrich.jpg