Jewish World Review June 18, 2003 / 18 Sivan, 5763

Joe Scarborough

Joe Scarborough
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CBS courtship of Pfc. Lynch: Big media tries to win the heart of a teenage girl | CBS news has been caught red-handed, trying to buy off private Jessica Lynch so they can get the most sought after interview in America. What it says about CBS news, the FCC, and media conglomerates is frightening.

A FEW WEEKS BACK, I explained how the Republican-led FCC was turning over the keys of free speech to a few international media monopolies. And how one or two multinational corporations could soon decide what you watched on TV, listened to on the radio, read at bookstores, and saw on movie screens. Less than two weeks after Michael Powell surrendered to the media conglomerates, CBS news proved me right, and chairman Powell wrong.

CBS news, owned by Viacom, tried to buy off Private Lynch by promising her a free run through Viacom's media playhouse. If she would just sit down and talk with their news division, CBS would make sure that Jessica and her friends could host an hour of videos on MTV2 (cool), and host a special edition of the teen favorite, Total Request Live with Carson Daly (way cool), and a concert in her hometown with Ashanti and Ja Rule (totally, totally way cool). Plus, tell mom and dad we'll talk to the big boys at Viacom's publisher, Simon and Schuster, and do the movie thing with CBS entertainment or Viacom's paramount pictures.

Hey, CBS news dudes! Way to win the heart of a teenage girl. Too bad you needed teenyboppers at MTV to try and get your news interviews for you.

Now CBS, of course, huffed and puffed that their independence was without question. Oh really? Then why did they even bother bringing up MTV, Simon and Schuster, CBS entertainment and all the other pretty horses in Viacom's stable?

Why? Because Viacom is working on a monopoly of sorts, and neither the FCC nor politicians on Capitol Hill dare to stand in their way. After all, the bigger the monopoly, the bigger the campaign checks.

Soon, a few international conglomerations will control American media, and everything you watch on TV, read in your local paper and buy at the bookstore. Free market be damned. When it comes to media monopolies, there is no room for free enterprise, and little toleration for free speech. If Washington continues to sit back and do nothing, big brother won't be watching you. You will be forced to watch him.

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Former Congressman Joe Scarborough (R-Fla.) hosts “Scarborough Country,” 10 p.m. ET, weeknights on MSNBC. Comment by clicking here.

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