Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Do as We Say, Not as We Do

What’s intriguing about Mark Hyman’s commentary on the "Wright Amendment" commentary on the “Wright Amendment” is not so much the specifics (the issue of undoing limitations on what airlines are allowed to fly in and out of the Dallas/Ft. Worth airport) but the logic behind it. In arguing for greater access to the airport for airlines, Hyman invokes the God-term of the free market economy: competition.

According to Hyman, having multiple players in the airline game will help consumers by lowering prices and improving service through competition. Unfortunately, Hyman and his friends at Sinclair have a distinctly different opinion on competition when it comes to broadcasting. Despite the fact that television uses a publicly-owned resource, the broadcast spectrum, Sinclair feels it should be allowed to gobble up as many stations as it can in order to dominate certain markets.

After spending tens of thousands of dollars in donations to anti-regulation Republican candidates and lobbying the milquetoast Bush FCC, Sinclair managed to get past the traditional limits of broadcast ownership and now owns more television duopolies than any other company.

Hyman pays lip service to the idea of competition, but his own company has championed policies that cheat viewers out of the diversity of voices they have a right to in their local television markets and line the pockets of the corporate heads of Sinclair. But then again, as we’ve seen so many times, hypocrisy is an essential element of the Sinclair corporate credo.

And that’s The Counterpoint.


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