Media Security: Consolidation or Diversity?

Despite unanimous vote of the Senate Commerce Committee to delay, and direct question from one of its members, (not to mention overwhelming opposition in meetings across the country), FCC Chairman Kevin Martin plans to go ahead with the media consolidation vote scheduled for tomorrow, 18 December, which, given the 3-2 Republican-Democrat makeup of the Commission, will almost certainly result in more media consolidation.
Not only John Kerry, but even Trent Lott and Ted Stevens spoke against Martin’s plan. Martin, pretending not to know that newspapers are one of the most profitable industries (and nobody on the Commerce Committee thought to ask him directly whether he knew that; they only asked him if he had seen a specific report that said that), claims that the only way to save newspapers is to let them buy television stations. The New York Times published Martin’s op-ed to this effect. (Today the Times did at least publish their own editorial criticizing his position.)

Meanwhile, three members of the House Judiciary Committee have written an op-ed calling for the impeachment of vice-president Cheney, and no major newspaper will carry it, even though one of them, Wexler of Florida, collected more than 50,000 names for it over one weekend (up to 77,000 as of this writing).

Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.

Letter to Nathaniel Macon, Thomas Jefferson, January 12, 1819

What would Jefferson have thought about newspapers that wouldn’t publish a call for impeachment by members of the committee that is supposed to bring such charges? And why, given such a press, is anyone even considering more media consolidation? Which is better for the security of the Republic: more media consolidation or less?