The AT&T/Time Warner Merger - Time To Worry?
Give Donald Trump some credit: he might be a bigoted crypto-fascist who's taken the Republican Party to the right of Attila the Hun - but every once in a while he's 100 percent correct.
Case in point: his take on AT&T's proposed $85 billion merger with Time Warner.
During a speech Saturday afternoon in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania Saturday, Trump blasted the deal, saying he would oppose it if elected president.
"As an example of the power structure I'm fighting, AT&T is buying Time Warner and thus CNN, a deal we will not approve in my administration because it's too much concentration of power in the hands of too few."
Again - Trump is 100 percent correct here. We've seen a wave of media consolidations over the past few decades - and they've all resulted in the same thing: more power in the hands of giant conglomerates and fewer choices for consumers.
In 1983 - 90 percent of the media was controlled by 50 corporations; today, that number has dwindled down to 6.
We're very close to having a full-on media monopoly in this country.
Which makes you wonder why Hillary Clinton's campaign isn't speaking out against the AT&T/Time Warner merger in the same direct way that Donald Trump is.
For example - here's what Tim Kaine said recently on Meet the Press when he was asked his thoughts on the deal.
Chuck Todd: Are you a skeptic of this merger as well?
Sen. Tim Kaine: I share those concerns and questions. We've got to get to the bottom of them. Generally pro competition. And less concentration I think is generally helpful, especially in the media. But this has just been announced, and I haven't had a chance to dig into the details. But those are the kinds of questions that we need to be asking.
Translation: "we'll let you know".
Donald Trump's opposition to the AT&T-Time Warner merger probably isn't that surprising given his scorched earth campaign against the media as a whole - but the Clinton camp's equivocation here is interesting.
Opposition to monopoly power is a core progressive value - and it's historically something the Democratic base has believed in.
This isn't that complicated.
You either oppose the consolidation of the media in the hands of the few or you don't.
So why won't the Clinton campaign just come out against the deal?
Are they really still "digging in to the details" or should progressives start worrying that a potential Clinton-Kaine administration won't be as committed to breaking up the big monopolies as they'd like?