Anti-media drumbeat gaining volume


A blogger at the Huffington Post is suggesting that citizens wanting to push back against health reform protestors not confine themselves with writing to their representatives in Congress. The blogger, Bill Mann, suggests contacting advertisers, cable franchising authorities and the FCC.

He notes that it is all well and good to target the advertisers on Fox News Channel’s Glenn Beck show. But to really get FNC’s attention, he says progressive minded people need to go after the channel’s advertisers in all dayparts. And don’t forget to attack advertisers heard on conservative talk radio.

He advocates contacting the local government in charge of awarding cable franchises and having it inform the cable operator that when it is renewal time, it had best not have channels like FNC in the lineup any longer. “Find out when that renewal is set to be considered by city council,” he wrote. “A cable operator can choose to drop any satellite channel it wishes.”

He also made a strong pitch for getting the FCC to look into reinstating the Fairness Doctrine, asking readers to contact the FCC and push for such an act.

RBR/TVBR observation: It is just possible that the Fairness-related climate will cool down once the white-hot health care issue cools down. But it’s equally possible that it will simply be replaced by something else. So we may be hearing Fairness Doctrine calls for some time to come. But that doesn’t mean its coming back.

In a spirit of good will, we would recommend to Mann that he have his readers focus on the advertisers. It is not within the purview of franchising authorities to make command decisions about a cable system’s channel lineup – Mann himself pointed out that the cable operator makes that decision. And even if the Fairness Doctrine does creep its way back into existence and survives court challenge (both of which we find highly unlikely), it will quickly become obvious that as a matter of policy it is unworkable.

Mann’s most likely path to success is to hurt his targets in the pocketbook, and that means going after advertisers. However, if he is successful, he can no doubt expect that media outlets he likes will come under similar attack from his own opponents.

Should the media be quaking in its boots? We think not – the question is not how many people are there out there eager to rally behind Bill Mann, it’s whether or not there is anybody out there has the vaguest idea who he is.