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Daily Democracy

Ryan Blethen discusses the press, media and democracy. Daily Democracy is part of the Democracy Papers, a series of articles, essays and editorial opinion examining threats to our freedoms of speech and the press.

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November 26, 2007 5:14 PM

Clinton's missed opportunity

Posted by Ryan Blethen

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton missed an opportunity this weekend to speak out against media consolidation. According to The New York Times political blog, The Caucus, Clinton was asked at an event in Iowa if it was bad that Rupert Murdoch was allowed to own so much of America's media.

A real softball that Clinton could have smashed. Instead she gave a lame response about the consumer being hurt when choice is limited.

The questioner singled Murdoch out. Clinton did not in her response.

I'm not saying anything against any company in particular. I just want to see more competition, especially in the same markets.

Sounds as if Clinton does not want to single out somebody who has done fundraising for her and somebody who owns so much of the press in the state she represents. Murdoch owns the New York Post, two television stations in the city, and will soon have the Wall Street Journal.

Ownership matters, and needs to be major component of the presidential debate. Barack Obama and Joseph Biden has done a good job of addressing media consolidation, and other issues such as network neutrality. I wrote last month about both senators positions.

Clinton should take note. Media consolidation is no longer an obscure debate. She should come out against the FCC's plan to get rid of the cross-ownership ban. Better yet, the senator should champion rules that would not create a media environment that backs her into consolidation's corner.

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