Sunday, June 21, 2009

Nevadas's Citadel, Texas' Clear Channel Promoting Anti Free-Market Legislation, Why No Oklahoman Commentary?

June 22 Commentary

Friday I was listening to San Antonio, TX based Clear Channel radio's 1340 AM KEBC - Sports Radio, and sandwiched in-between Ad Council spots were back-to-back ads on the so called "Local Radio Freedom Act" (S. Con. Res. 14, H. Con. Res. 49.)

I have been told the far right leaning, allegedly "pro free-markets" KTOK is running the ads as well, and an internet search verifies that Nevada run Citadel (The Sports Animal, The KATT, KQOB, KYIS, WKY) are running these ads as well.

This legislation was written in the last Congress, but did not come to a vote. However, it will this time. Essentially what it is, is that labels are showing an interest in charging a small fee for stations who play their music. The stations are against this, because in the interest of their shareholders (note that Citadel has gone down from around $15 a share in 2004 to 4.5 cents a share as of Friday, so no question they have reason to be upset!) do not want additional costs.

Oklahoma Reps who support regulation to prohibit labels rights to charge fees include a group that quite often claim interests in free markets, and they are: House Reps Mary Fallin, Dan Boren, Tom Cole, Frank Lucas, and John Sullivan. Inhofe and Coburn are not included in the 16 co-sponsers of S.Con.Res 14, however it is clear that Inhofe does as I obtained a letter he wrote to San Antonio based Clear Channel saying he supports the bill.

Inhofe specifically says he "Supports local broadcasters such as (Clear Channel)", not taking into consideration that San Antonio is in Texas, not Oklahoma therefore not a local station. Such details are irrelevant when trying to prop up folks who say nice things about you, I imagine was his justification but that is just speculation. I do not want to be cruel and say he is stupid and can not deduct these things, although most 2nd graders can tell you San Antonio is not in Oklahoma.

Now, my thing with this legislation is pretty simple. If labels want to charge fees, let them! Stations can simply say "no thanks" to their awful music, and go to other labels that choose not to charge a fee. These labels will surely across the board be independant labels who more often that not have good music, and many times have actual LOCAL music.

The Oklahoman Editorial Staff has yet to offer any comment on this matter, however I would be quite interested in their opinion on the matter.

Here is a very detailed (updated) video I put out last time this bill was proposed, and I highly recommend watching it, and considering what I lay out next time you hear one of these ads on so-called local radio, telling you that you need to call you Congressman to support this stupid legislation. I believe it is a no-brainer to not support it, especially if you claim to be a supporter of "letting the markets decide".

I welcome anyone who has any legitimate arguments supporting this bill. I also want to point out that a lot of the discussions put forward last year by Free Press last year about the coming non-sensical campaigns about the coming "Fairness Doctrine" (which Obama, FCC head Michael Copps, FCC Chair Jonathon Adelstein, and all the rest strongly oppose) where only out there to try and support things like the so-called "Local Radio Freedom Act" which huxsters are already ranting and raving about being a "Fairness Doctrine Lite" which makes no sense, whatsoever.

I could say much more, but here is the video:

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