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?

Comments

Legend 6 years 14 weeks ago
#1

CNN which is Somewhat fair and balanced compared to Fox will be owned by one of the most conservative company in the USA. Guess what direction it will go.

SalemPaul's picture
SalemPaul 6 years 14 weeks ago
#2

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/10/att-time-warner-boo-... Campaign has said this will lead to, "Higher Prices, Less Choice" .... That they too are opposed.

Kend's picture
Kend 6 years 14 weeks ago
#3

Clinton can't say no to them when they make huge donations to her. Its Trumps whole thing. A vote for Clinton is telling all politicians it is ok to take pay for play as they all do both Rep. and Dems. Trump may not be the smoothest guy but at least he is not in anyones pocket.

"CNN is somewhat fair and balanced" Legend, are you sure you ever watched the Clinton News Network. They are having a love affair with Clinton.

Willie W's picture
Willie W 6 years 14 weeks ago
#4

Progressives should start worrying.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 6 years 14 weeks ago
#5

Trump made the decision to run as a Republican which makes him part of the Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell team. Thus his statement regarding the merger.... " it's too much concentration of power in the hands of too few," is absolutely a blatant lie. Monopoly capitalism is at the very heart of what it is to be a Republican...geeez!

Trump and Ryan both agree with and participate in the big money subversion of our democracy.

Jerry Hill's picture
Jerry Hill 6 years 14 weeks ago
#6

It's been very hard for my wife and I to truly trust HRC. Both the wike-leaks and her avoidance of answering questions on these kind of issues leave me cold. I actually believe many more monopolies in the banking and media business should be broken up and don't think she has the perspective to do that. I've felt for many years, that her husbands presidence was as bad as Reagan and even Nixon. All the things he signed that where pushed by Newt Gindrich where terrible for middleclass america. As I've heard it, Monica Lewinski may have been the one good thing that happened in that, I believe he was getting ready to sign a bill stopping Social Security and turning it into what the Republican'ts want, but they all got distracted by the investigation and impeachment proceedings. I don't look at Bill Clinton as a real Democrat, but a throw back to the old southern Democrats which is very close to the Republican'ts we have today.

The sad thing to me is how few people know the history of our country and it's politics to have an accurate perspective of the rights we've faught for and how easily we can loose them with the wrong people selected for the Supreme Court. At least B Clinton nominated Ruth Badar Ginsberg, that was the best thing he did. One of my favorite Supreme Court Judges is Louis D. Brandeis. He did more for individual rights in the early part of the 1900's than any other judge.

Thanks Jerry Hill, Freeland, WA.

UNC Tarheels's picture
UNC Tarheels 6 years 14 weeks ago
#7

That is the difference between an oligarch funded campaign and a non oligarch funded campaign. Trump is not liked because he will flat out tell you to kiss his a$$ if you don't like what he says. I'm not a fan of Trump. Hillary's problem is she is hell bent on becoming president because in her mind "it's her turn!" And everybody else shall get out of her way attitude that she is desperate enough to do or say what ever it takes to win. Even if she has Debbie Wasserman Schultz to rig the primary in Hillary's favour something that has never been done is a political party supporting one candidacy over another during the primary. I voted for Bernie Sanders in the primary and he got robbed! So much so that the DNC bought him a $600,000 house so he would not jump in the general election as an independent. It saddens me that after 30 years of his same message unwavered that he could be bought off so easily. This election cycle between the (R)'s and (D)'s is like watching 2 kindergarteners fighting over a box of crayons. WE THE PEOPLE deserve much better! At this point it really doesn't matter whether it is Trump or Hillary the people are screwed either way. Unless all those who are disgusted with Hillary and Trump join me by voting for Johnson/Weld.

UNC Tarheels's picture
UNC Tarheels 6 years 14 weeks ago
#8

My take on the emails is this, if they are made up, then why are they illegal to read? If they are fake as Hillary claims then it should be no problem to see them. I think they are real and that is why we are being denied in seeing them.

UNC Tarheels's picture
UNC Tarheels 6 years 14 weeks ago
#9

Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell don't like or support Trump. I have never seen the top republicans run away from thier parties nominee like he is a leper. They see Trump as a loose cannon and if he is elected that is the end of the republican party as we know it because that will mean an outsider was chosen over a group of Washington insiders. Anymore both sides of the aisle want to be able to exert some control to get an agenda passed and since Trump has a MY WAY or the highway attutide they are afraid of him. Just listen to him speak. He says "here is what I am going to do!"........Instead of here is what we are going to do. We being Trump and a republican Congress.

bobcix's picture
bobcix 6 years 14 weeks ago
#10

When I was working for a company which was trying to become a supplier to Western Electric, a sukbsidiary to AT&T, it was well known that no supplier could have more than 20% of the business. Thke reason was that they could control the price of the sukpply commodity.

The U.S. should apply the same principle in determining the possibility of monopolistic practices. There is a good reason why the 1890 Anti-Monopoly laws were being considered and eventually broke up AT&T, the rockefeller companies, etc. too bad Ronald Reagan instrukcted the Justice Department to NOT ENFORCE such laws.

My company was unsuccessful and went under so I had to get another employer. This was about 65 years ag!

Willie W's picture
Willie W 6 years 14 weeks ago
#11

Simple solution? Two candidates on each ticket. Trump and Cruz versus Hillary and Bernie. First, count party votes. Then see which candidate in the winning party got the most votes....Pipe dream.

Legend 6 years 14 weeks ago
#12

Kend, Trump will only interview on Fox or MSNBC Morning Joe. Hilary gets around. When all you got is Hilary you interview her. Trump will never be on Racheal Maddows show. Anderson Cooper has interviewed Pence but he just denies that he has ever heard if Trump.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 6 years 13 weeks ago
#13

UNC Tarheel: Trump picked Mike Pence as his running mate...need I say more????

I will say more! Trump if elected plans on putting Pence in charge of the actual responsibility of being President. Trump only wants to hold the scepter and "oversee" the young female staff.

Ryan and Pence both stand behind the billionaire controlled/created Tea Party....Trump knows this and supports it, although not openly. Trump could have just as easily picked Ryan to be his running mate....when it comes to screwing the 99.9%, they think alike!

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