You are either not logged in or not registered with our community. Click here to register.
 
December 05, 2016, 12:52:23 PM

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

Click here if you are having problems.
Default Wide Screen Beige Lilac Rainbow Black & Blue October Send us your theme!

Hark!  The Herald!
Holiday Issue 2016

Wiki Blogs Dicebot

Author Topic: Ted Koppel: Olbermann, O'Reilly and the death of real news  (Read 2746 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline JudeTopic starter

Ted Koppel: Olbermann, O'Reilly and the death of real news
« on: November 20, 2010, 08:00:37 PM »
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/12/AR2010111202857.html

I happened across this and immediately read the entire article because I found it so fascinating.  Koppel's descriptions of the reality of modern media struck me as insightful, but when it came to his analysis of the way things have changed I found myself unable to decide if he was right or wrong.  I simply don't have the perspective to judge whether or not the media has gotten worse as he claims.  Often people romanticize the past, so it's hard to say if he's being truthful about that.

Can anyone give me a little perspective on this subject that's older?

Offline Alsheriam

Re: Ted Koppel: Olbermann, O'Reilly and the death of real news
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2010, 08:23:28 PM »
Whether right or wrong, I bet Walter Cronkite is pretty much flipping over in his grave.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Ted Koppel: Olbermann, O'Reilly and the death of real news
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2010, 09:58:29 PM »
Yeah but even Walt saw it coming. One of the reasons he started getting out of the business again.

BUT I'm sure that Edward R. Murrow would be a good power source .

Offline rick957

Re: Ted Koppel: Olbermann, O'Reilly and the death of real news
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2010, 10:53:33 PM »
Holy shit that article was depressing.  I read the whole thing anyway because I've been amazed by how sophisticated and insightful Koppel has been in his writing and interviews since he left his anchor position, which I guess was forever ago, now.  The network news anchors seemed like vacuous talking heads at times, but in fact, in Koppel's era at least, they were super-experienced, super-knowledgeable, life-long journalists who had reached the very apex of their field.  (Kind of ironic that the apex involved them doing little-to-no journalism and instead simply reading off teleprompters for 25 minutes a day in front of a camera.  Sorry, digression.)

I'm no authority on these issues, but I'm just old enough to remember the pre-cable-television United States in the early 80s, when a sizable majority of the public watched one of the three national news shows every evening, preceded by a local news show with crappy production values.  Those plus your local newspaper gave you all the info that you or anyone else had daily access to, about the world and about the rest of the United States outside of your local community.  All the other news sources that existed -- news magazines and big city newspapers, basically -- were far less timely or accessible, arriving days or months after publication.  Radio was still universally accessible but well into its decline and largely ignored by the public as a source of news.  Oh, and I guess people with friends or family outside of their community could get anecdotal info from phone conversations, but it would just be local information, since everyone had the same national news sources.

Koppel's article drew connections between so many of modern society's problems that I hesitate to agree with everything he said, but the conclusions he drew seemed depressingly spot-on, from my limited perspective.  The guy knows what he's talking about, too.  Obviously.

But hell, I'm left wondering what's the point of such a doom-and-gloom article.  I think he's right about everything he says, but he himself points out all the reasons why there's no undoing the negative changes in the national media, even if more people became aware of them by reading his article.

I really wish he'd said something about some positive developments in the media, changes that could benefit society, because there's bound to be some ... uh, right?  Sure wish I could think of them, though.  (Little help, anybody?)
« Last Edit: November 20, 2010, 10:54:39 PM by rick957 »

Online Vekseid

Re: Ted Koppel: Olbermann, O'Reilly and the death of real news
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2010, 12:09:49 AM »
I think he just doesn't want to admit the obvious on that front. A need for journalistic integrity means that just picking a random Russian on Elliquiy and asking them what's up may be considered a bit suspect, but that's the sort of issue you resolve with training, development, and practice.

Offline Zeitgeist

Re: Ted Koppel: Olbermann, O'Reilly and the death of real news
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2010, 11:10:39 PM »
"The commercial success of both Fox News and MSNBC is a source of nonpartisan sadness for me."

<falls to the floor in a fit of laughter>

Seriously Mr. Koppel? Regardless of what one might think of Fox News, to hold these two up side by side as comparative commercial successes is laughable. MSNBC ratings are the lowest of all the cable news networks, and Fox's is larger than all the others combined. What Koppel does here is hides behind a thin veil of non-partisanship by bringing both of these entities together in the same story. As if to espouse his own integrity. See how fair I am? I'm criticizing both the left and the right.

Only it's a crock. Insofar as commercial success is concerned, you could drive a Mack truck between the two. Between their respective ideologies too, but we all already know that.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Ted Koppel: Olbermann, O'Reilly and the death of real news
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2010, 11:31:06 PM »
"The commercial success of both Fox News and MSNBC is a source of nonpartisan sadness for me."

<falls to the floor in a fit of laughter>

Seriously Mr. Koppel? Regardless of what one might think of Fox News, to hold these two up side by side as comparative commercial successes is laughable. MSNBC ratings are the lowest of all the cable news networks, and Fox's is larger than all the others combined.

Thing is though Zamdrist, they are STILL making more money that any news agency tied to the old big 3 networks. Most often the best the ABC/CBS/NBC (and PBS) crowds could do was hope their news shows broke even (with small rate exceptions, very short term)

MSNBC is doing badly in comparison to the other 24 hour networks, but they are doing better than breaking even.

Online Vekseid

Re: Ted Koppel: Olbermann, O'Reilly and the death of real news
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2010, 12:31:52 AM »
"The commercial success of both Fox News and MSNBC is a source of nonpartisan sadness for me."

<falls to the floor in a fit of laughter>

Seriously Mr. Koppel? Regardless of what one might think of Fox News, to hold these two up side by side as comparative commercial successes is laughable. MSNBC ratings are the lowest of all the cable news networks, and Fox's is larger than all the others combined. What Koppel does here is hides behind a thin veil of non-partisanship by bringing both of these entities together in the same story. As if to espouse his own integrity. See how fair I am? I'm criticizing both the left and the right.

Only it's a crock. Insofar as commercial success is concerned, you could drive a Mack truck between the two. Between their respective ideologies too, but we all already know that.

MSNBC is second in cable news ratings. And cable news is not their only revenue source or audience - Fox's cable news struggles to reach a single percent of the population. Their Internet presence is laughable compared to MSN and CNN. Hell, Disney, the Huffington Post and New York Times all have a larger US web presence.

Offline mystictiger

Re: Ted Koppel: Olbermann, O'Reilly and the death of real news
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2010, 04:22:03 AM »
It'll be a familiar refrain from this side of the pond, but the idea of having a news anchor who was not a serious, highly trained and well experienced journalist is laughable.

When your 'jouranlistic skillz' consist of looking good and being able to deliver a line to camera, you're an actor, not a journalist.

When your aim is to make money, of course you're going to 'sell' something to an audience that they're going to want to hear. Rather than make most of the market mildly enamoured of your presence, you could always make a small portion love it. The question is how much money you can generate by creating a product with a certain amount of market appeal.

Offline Zeitgeist

Re: Ted Koppel: Olbermann, O'Reilly and the death of real news
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2010, 07:46:13 AM »
MSNBC is second in cable news ratings. And cable news is not their only revenue source or audience - Fox's cable news struggles to reach a single percent of the population. Their Internet presence is laughable compared to MSN and CNN. Hell, Disney, the Huffington Post and New York Times all have a larger US web presence.

That was one day. I saw that and was looking for a larger data set, but couldn't find it. But here is another day, election day.

"Fox News, the top-rated cable network, brought in more prime-time election night viewers than CNN and MSNBC combined."

You're right though, Fox's Internet presence sucks. I often go to CNN by default for my web based news. But I remain unconvinced Koppel's comparative contrast makes sense. It doesn't make any sense to me to hold up the two as examples of commercial success. Ideology, sure, but not as commercial success.

Offline JudeTopic starter

Re: Ted Koppel: Olbermann, O'Reilly and the death of real news
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2010, 08:28:16 AM »
If you want to make the argument that MSNBC isn't successful you need more data than TV ratings.  Even that particular bit of information doesn't really communicate what you want it to because MSNBC still performs better than CNN and other news sources which try harder to be more centrist.  And given that the article discussed success in terms of dollars, I don't see how anything but fiscal data would be at all relevant to the discussion at hand.

Offline Zeitgeist

Re: Ted Koppel: Olbermann, O'Reilly and the death of real news
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2010, 08:37:11 AM »
If you want to make the argument that MSNBC isn't successful you need more data than TV ratings.  Even that particular bit of information doesn't really communicate what you want it to because MSNBC still performs better than CNN and other news sources which try harder to be more centrist.  And given that the article discussed success in terms of dollars, I don't see how anything but fiscal data would be at all relevant to the discussion at hand.

The comparison made by Koppel was between Fox and MSNBC, not MSNBC and all others or CNN. The data is out there somewhere I am sure, but both MSNBC and CNN often fight for a very distant second behind FOX in ratings, and while I'm no media expert, ratings I believe are the top measure of a cable news channel's success or failure.

Regardless, if one wants to contrast the two by their polar opposite ideologies, that makes sense, to compare them by relative success financially, in my opinion, doesn't make much sense. MSNBC/NBC has other revenue streams that has nothing to do with media, i.e. GE for example, so I don't think that makes sense to include.

Bottom line, Fox is infinitely more successful financially and commercially than both CNN and MSNBC.

Offline rick957

Re: Ted Koppel: Olbermann, O'Reilly and the death of real news
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2010, 08:54:37 AM »
Quote
Bottom line, Fox is infinitely more successful financially and commercially than both CNN and MSNBC.

Whether or not this is true, it's a side issue, not at all related to the main points of Koppel's piece.  Koppel is talking about how partisan bias of one sort or another has swept aside any attempt at objectivity in news reporting, and how changes in the media and in society have brought about that sorry development.  He makes no effort at all to suggest that the different partisan voices in the media have equal representation or impact; that's a complete misreading of his intent.

Offline Zeitgeist

Re: Ted Koppel: Olbermann, O'Reilly and the death of real news
« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2010, 09:01:49 AM »
Whether or not this is true, it's a side issue, not at all related to the main points of Koppel's piece.  Koppel is talking about how partisan bias of one sort or another has swept aside any attempt at objectivity in news reporting, and how changes in the media and in society have brought about that sorry development.  He makes no effort at all to suggest that the different partisan voices in the media have equal representation or impact; that's a complete misreading of his intent.

People have been bemoaning the effect of 24 hour cable news for years now. It escapes me how Koppel has landed upon an original topic or uncovered a previously undiscovered and undiscussed point that hasn't already been explored ad nauseam.

Offline rick957

Re: Ted Koppel: Olbermann, O'Reilly and the death of real news
« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2010, 09:25:21 AM »
Quote
People have been bemoaning the effect of 24 hour cable news for years now. It escapes me how Koppel has landed upon an original topic or uncovered a previously undiscovered and undiscussed point that hasn't already been explored ad nauseam.

He agrees with you in part.  In his very first paragraph, he talks about how the social changes he sets out to discuss are very old ones.  What he's saying is that Olbermann's suspension would have made sense a long time ago, but not today, due to the changes in the media he goes on to discuss. 

If Koppel's points were widely understood -- an obvious and redundant discussion, as you suggest -- then Olbermann wouldn't have been suspended.  That's the setting-off point for Koppel's entire piece.

Online Vekseid

Re: Ted Koppel: Olbermann, O'Reilly and the death of real news
« Reply #15 on: November 23, 2010, 09:29:45 AM »
Huh. CNN's cable news viewership is still in free fall, regardless. I wasn't disputing the 'more than the rest of them combined' comment. If there's a 'news' program that actually competes with Fox, it's the Daily Show. I  have a harder time forcing myself to listen to Olbermann than I do O'Reilly half the time.

80 million pageviews translates to over twenty million visitors for CNN. To your article, that's a footnote. While it's difficult to pull out MSNBC's stats from its portal, the portal probably averages what CNN does on its best days.

Okay, so, News Corp's entire cable lineup for the three months ending September 30th generated revenue equal to 1.8 billion.

...reading this makes me wonder if Murdoch is scared shitless of Google.

Anyway, MSN gets roughly three times the visitors CNN does. Most of these are portal hoppers, though I doubt MSNBC admits that to its advertisers. Portal traffic is still rather potent, anyway. Even discounting that, it looks like MSNBC is slightly beating CNN in terms of news hits (MSN averaging over 2 pageviews/user and CNN averaging ~3.5).

That's an immense amount of traffic. I don't know if it offsets the difference completely, but discounting the completely lopsided web presence is not a good idea. Eight figures per quarter for that level of traffic would be considered high (as in, earnings per visitor) - for a site in the top thousand range. For a site in Elliquiy's range it would be manna from heaven, but the bigger you are the more clout you have.

Offline Zeitgeist

Re: Ted Koppel: Olbermann, O'Reilly and the death of real news
« Reply #16 on: November 23, 2010, 09:42:19 AM »
He agrees with you in part.  In his very first paragraph, he talks about how the social changes he sets out to discuss are very old ones.  What he's saying is that Olbermann's suspension would have made sense a long time ago, but not today, due to the changes in the media he goes on to discuss. 

If Koppel's points were widely understood -- an obvious and redundant discussion, as you suggest -- then Olbermann wouldn't have been suspended.  That's the setting-off point for Koppel's entire piece.

I see your point, and agree with the explanation. It isn't the least bit surprising Olberman would donate money to Democratic/Liberal causes, while at the same time trying to give the appearance of unbiased coverage, which of course he fails epically at. At the same time I wouldn't suggest the 'other side' is any better or has a substantial amount of greater integrity.

I do believe there is a bit of difference between say, Rupert Murdoch giving money to the GOP, versus a news personality with a daily show giving money to their cause. I'm certain many will disagree with the nuance but I believe the owner of the overall outlet, a business owner, should be free to spend their money however they wish. Doesn't mean their won't be criticism or full disclosure.

Yes, unbiased news is dead, if it ever had a pulse is questionable however. Though I don't have a specific reference or handy link, I've often heard how newspapers in the Colonial days and early in our history were infamous for savaging people and being loose with the facts. Today at least we have a wide and varying number of outlets and selections to choose from. It is a responsibility I believe to delve beyond one or two to get a grasp on a number of angles on any particular topic before espousing upon an issue.

Online HairyHeretic

  • Lei varai barbu - The true bearded one
  • Knight
  • Addict
  • *
  • Join Date: Dec 2006
  • Location: Ireland
  • Gender: Male
  • And the Scorpion said "Little frog .. I can swim."
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 1
Re: Ted Koppel: Olbermann, O'Reilly and the death of real news
« Reply #17 on: November 23, 2010, 09:49:51 AM »
I do believe there is a bit of difference between say, Rupert Murdoch giving money to the GOP, versus a news personality with a daily show giving money to their cause. I'm certain many will disagree with the nuance but I believe the owner of the overall outlet, a business owner, should be free to spend their money however they wish. Doesn't mean their won't be criticism or full disclosure.

How do you see a difference between the two? If each is doing it as a private individual, and not encouraging others to do the same (or otherwise directly using their influence), what's the difference?

Offline Zeitgeist

Re: Ted Koppel: Olbermann, O'Reilly and the death of real news
« Reply #18 on: November 23, 2010, 09:52:29 AM »
Vekseid - I agree, Fox's Internet presence is pretty poor and they are well behind in that aspect in comparison to CNN and MSNBC. It's a glaring hole that they don't have fnc.com pointing to their news page. They don't even own it. Some company called Telepathy Inc. does, according to Whois.

How do you see a difference between the two? If each is doing it as a private individual, and not encouraging others to do the same (or otherwise directly using their influence), what's the difference?

One is the business owner of the company as a whole, versus a paid individual hired to provide a particular point of view on a daily show. Note I did say a bit of a difference. I didn't suggest the the comparison was out in left field.

Offline rick957

Re: Ted Koppel: Olbermann, O'Reilly and the death of real news
« Reply #19 on: November 23, 2010, 10:16:36 AM »
Quote
Yes, unbiased news is dead, if it ever had a pulse is questionable however.

Right ... See, I think Koppel is saying, attempts at unbiased news-reportage have proven unprofitable in recent history, and because profit-making drives all media, unbiased news-reportage is becoming extinct. 

Why do we as a society require all our media to make a profit?  Doesn't certain media -- news-reporting outlets, for example -- serve vital public functions outside of making profits?  Why hasn't our society acted to ensure the survival of such media entities?

Personally I'd say that our society has done just that by keeping public radio and television alive.  Compared to the rest of the media, public radio and TV are relatively objective, unbiased, and unconcerned with profit-making, and that's how they've always been.

Why has our society allowed unbiased news reportage to be driven out of the rest of the media, which depends on certain public resources to exist in its present forms?  And can anything be done to change the sorry state of the media?  I think these are the kinds of questions Koppel wants people to think about.  I don't have good answers, and he doesn't give any in his article, it seems to me -- though I'm glad he at least raises the questions.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2010, 10:19:38 AM by rick957 »

Offline Zeitgeist

Re: Ted Koppel: Olbermann, O'Reilly and the death of real news
« Reply #20 on: November 23, 2010, 10:30:35 AM »
Right ... See, I think Koppel is saying, attempts at unbiased news-reportage have proven unprofitable in recent history, and because profit-making drives all media, unbiased news-reportage is becoming extinct. 

Why do we as a society require all our media to make a profit?  Doesn't certain media -- news-reporting outlets, for example -- serve vital public functions outside of making profits?  Why hasn't our society acted to ensure the survival of such media entities?

Personally I'd say that our society has done just that by keeping public radio and television alive.  Compared to the rest of the media, public radio and TV are relatively objective, unbiased, and unconcerned with profit-making, and that's how they've always been.

Why has our society allowed unbiased news reportage to be driven out of the rest of the media, which depends on certain public resources to exist in its present forms?  And can anything be done to change the sorry state of the media?  I think these are the kinds of questions Koppel wants people to think about.  I don't have good answers, and he doesn't give any in his article, it seems to me -- though I'm glad he at least raises the questions.

If one believes making a profit is an inherently bad thing, I could see how someone might think it was a 'bad' news outlets make a profit. But shouldn't they compete along side other media venues, and live or die on their own merits? Or should they be propped up by an equally biased government or administration?

News can be, and is, both a service and an avenue of entertainment.

Unbiased media venues are gone, if they ever existed. But one only need to sample a variety of sources to get a gist on an issue to come up with an informed opinion, and not one terribly slanted by one outlet.

Online Vekseid

Re: Ted Koppel: Olbermann, O'Reilly and the death of real news
« Reply #21 on: November 23, 2010, 10:52:58 AM »
Vekseid - I agree, Fox's Internet presence is pretty poor and they are well behind in that aspect in comparison to CNN and MSNBC. It's a glaring hole that they don't have fnc.com pointing to their news page. They don't even own it. Some company called Telepathy Inc. does, according to Whois.

Considering the site it redirects to gets fewer pageviews than Elliquiy, here, I don't think that would help it much.

It's not for want of trying on Murdoch's part. He's a smart cookie, got into the Internet business early for a man his age. He just went for what he thought were the smart bids - Yahoo, Myspace, IGN, etc. And is now getting burned.

Quote
One is the business owner of the company as a whole, versus a paid individual hired to provide a particular point of view on a daily show. Note I did say a bit of a difference. I didn't suggest the the comparison was out in left field.

I think that if you're going to say there's a distinction you should consider the perceived independence of the show's hosts. Fox has a stricter message than MSNBC does.

Offline rick957

Re: Ted Koppel: Olbermann, O'Reilly and the death of real news
« Reply #22 on: November 23, 2010, 11:02:14 AM »
Zamdrist, I suspect you and I have similar views on some of these topics, which is why some of your statements surprise me.

Quote
If one believes making a profit is an inherently bad thing, I could see how someone might think it was a 'bad' news outlets make a profit.

One doesn't need to frown upon profit-making in order to think it should not be the single impetus behind all human activity, including news reportage.

Quote
But shouldn't they compete along side other media venues, and live or die on their own merits?

Are you saying that unless a news outlet can make as much money as everything else on television or on the internet, then it doesn't belong there?  Do you want the most profitable things on TV and the internet to crowd out everything else?  Or do you want there to be some room for diversity of both content and perspective?

Quote
Or should they be propped up by an equally biased government or administration?

You may not see it this way, but if you agree that public TV and radio serve a vital public function with their relatively-objective news reportage, and if you agree that unbiased news has been driven out of the rest of the media due to profit concerns, how can you oppose public spending (by the govt.) to keep public TV and radio alive?

Quote
News can be, and is, both a service and an avenue of entertainment.

This is true.  This fact has caused many news outlets to focus more on their entertainment function than on their obligation to keep the public informed about un-entertaining issues of importance.  That's why if you turn on CNN or Headline News right now, you're more likely to learn something about a celebrity or hear some bit of sensational nonsense rather than learn something useful about the state of the country or the world.  That wasn't quite so much the case ten or especially twenty years ago, and thirty years ago, the relative amount of hard content vs. b.s. was nearly reversed.  (Similarly, if you turn on Fox News or MSNBC, you're more likely to hear someone yell a partisan soundbite at you than learn anything useful about anything.) 

Quote
Unbiased media venues are gone, if they ever existed. But one only need to sample a variety of sources to get a gist on an issue to come up with an informed opinion, and not one terribly slanted by one outlet.

Not everyone has time to do this for every news item that matters to them (do you?).

Offline Zeitgeist

Re: Ted Koppel: Olbermann, O'Reilly and the death of real news
« Reply #23 on: November 23, 2010, 11:54:19 AM »
Zamdrist, I suspect you and I have similar views on some of these topics, which is why some of your statements surprise me.

One doesn't need to frown upon profit-making in order to think it should not be the single impetus behind all human activity, including news reportage.

Are you saying that unless a news outlet can make as much money as everything else on television or on the internet, then it doesn't belong there?  Do you want the most profitable things on TV and the internet to crowd out everything else?  Or do you want there to be some room for diversity of both content and perspective?

You may not see it this way, but if you agree that public TV and radio serve a vital public function with their relatively-objective news reportage, and if you agree that unbiased news has been driven out of the rest of the media due to profit concerns, how can you oppose public spending (by the govt.) to keep public TV and radio alive?

I'm more Libertarian than Republican, and therefore I don't believe the government has a place in propping up any media venue not able to be viable on its own. The Constitution only says the government should not hinder the freedom of press. Like similar issues of freedom, some have extrapolated this to glean some idea that the government has a place in providing alternate views and outlets in the name of diversity. I don't believe its the government's place.

Quote
This is true.  This fact has caused many news outlets to focus more on their entertainment function than on their obligation to keep the public informed about un-entertaining issues of importance.  That's why if you turn on CNN or Headline News right now, you're more likely to learn something about a celebrity or hear some bit of sensational nonsense rather than learn something useful about the state of the country or the world.  That wasn't quite so much the case ten or especially twenty years ago, and thirty years ago, the relative amount of hard content vs. b.s. was nearly reversed.  (Similarly, if you turn on Fox News or MSNBC, you're more likely to hear someone yell a partisan soundbite at you than learn anything useful about anything.)

Who pray tell placed a mantle of obligation on private companies to provide an informative service? If it is the government by way of the FCC and regulations, again I don't believe that should be the government's place. Their only function in maintaining the airwaves should infrastructure and freedom of access.

Quote
Not everyone has time to do this for every news item that matters to them (do you?).

No, some don't, but before opining upon any particular issue I would think it would be ideal if one looked around some before voicing and opinion. In some cases, where I feel the particular issue is complex or nuanced, yes I do. My position on marijuana legalization, for example, has evolved over time, due in part to a diverse number of thoughts, opinions and my own thinking upon it. But I don't want to get off track here.

NRP should stand or fall on its own merits. If it is the great product some believe it is, it shouldn't have any problem doing so. Media outlets should reflect the general populace, and its not the function of government to foist diversity upon the population. We, us, they either are, or are not (diverse).

Online Vekseid

Re: Ted Koppel: Olbermann, O'Reilly and the death of real news
« Reply #24 on: November 23, 2010, 03:05:15 PM »
I'm more Libertarian than Republican, and therefore I don't believe the government has a place in propping up any media venue not able to be viable on its own. The Constitution only says the government should not hinder the freedom of press. Like similar issues of freedom, some have extrapolated this to glean some idea that the government has a place in providing alternate views and outlets in the name of diversity. I don't believe its the government's place.

Broadcast media, like the Internet, is a place where libertarian thought doesn't provide a clear-cut solution on its own. You have a case where you have a true to form, honest to goodness public good. If people are allowed only to broadcast over their own property, or assign IP sets on their own property, or domain names on their own property, the value of it is next to nothing. Only when the entire region recognizes the broadcast rights, domain root, and routing tables does the system possess its value.

Now, for the Internet, I don't think I've seen libertarians argue that one person should be able to buy the entire IPv6 space, for example. Ignoring the logic of it ("...okay, so let's setup a new space.") the very concept of it is built around a common, global understanding. And with IPv6 there really is enough for everyone.

I consider broadcast media similarly, though with a different take as the data is pushed rather than pulled. The public accepts the agreements that allow these transmissions to take place, they have a right to demand certain concessions, as a group, from those doing the transmitting.

Such as not allowing a Radio Rwanda situation to develop here, and various rules and procedures that, as an example, make it legal to shut one down if it attempts to incite violence.