DANGEROUS, REALLY DANGEROUS - AT 12:14 P.M. ET: Talk about dangerous proposals, get this one, as reported in The Hill:
High-ranking House Democrats are urging the Treasury Department to prop up minority-owned broadcasters suffering from a lack of capital and lost advertising revenue amid the economic slump.
House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) is leading an effort to convince Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to take “decisive action” by extending credit to this sector of the broadcasting industry.
Clyburn and other senior members, including House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), argue that minority-owned broadcasters are sound businesses, but that the recession could undermine the government’s efforts to diversify the airwaves.
COMMENT: No matter how noble the intent, and I'm not so sure it's noble, the idea of propping up companies with news divisions on the basis of ethnicity is volatile and dangerous. Who's a minority? Asians? Hispanics? East European immigrants?
Minority broadcasters beam their programs to a particular audience, as do other broadcasters, and should rise or fall, based on their ability and the popularity of their product.
May 20, 2009