Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Boss and Media Consolidation

I saw a post over at Blue Jersey about how the latest Bruce Springsteen album, Magic, isn't being played by Clear Channel owned radio stations. I'm one of the many people Clear Channel drove away from regular radio listening due to their poor programing. I tend to listen to streaming music stations on-line or CDs I buy, so I hadn't really noticed. However, when the Number 1 album in the country is not getting any radio play it is a little disturbing.

The folks over at Fox News say it's because Clear Channel has said that Springsteen is too old. The folks at Blue Jersey, and other spots, think it's a repeat of the Dixie Chicks getting blackballed by Clear Channel and other stations after they were critical of the President.

Either reason raises serious questions about media consolidation, and the impact it is and can have in our nation. With the company taking their 1,184 radio stations private, this power to dictate culture and news is now in even fewer hands.

Clear Channel deciding someone is too old to be played, and therefore not allowing them to be heard manipulates the press in a way the Forefathers never imagined. However, because they've done it before, the smart money would be to bet it's politics.

Unlike when the Dixie Chicks exercised their free speech, the nation knows we were lied into war. The actions of the administration and those who mindlessly follow their rhetoric have worn out their welcome. There is no backlash about what Bruce is saying because the vast majority of Americans now know it's the truth.

Now it seems, in an effort to stop a message contradicting the mindless rantings of their Rush "Phony Soldiers" Limbaugh poster child, Clear Channel has quietly banned Bruce. I'm one of the thousands who got up to see The Boss play the Today Show (hence the pics). As I said to a friend, he came out swinging (about a minute in):


As a bonus, The Boss also played one of my favorites with "My Hometown." It was especially moving, and unlikely to be a coincidence, because this was while the Jena 6 were making daily headlines. If you look in the bottom right corner at minute 2:46 you can see my head and eyes. I was singing along, I promise.


5 comments:

Jill said...

Too old my ass. It's about politics, period. And typical ClearChannel bullshit.

rmfretz said...

Yep.

Eric Sedler said...

That's just sad. Music and politics are two seperate things to me and I love them both. Frankly alot of my favorite bands hae anti-war tunes or make statements and it never bothers me, a good tune is a good tune. And a good band/singer is a good band/singer, especially Bruce.

Amy Dearworth said...

The fact that Clear Channel isn't playing the new album because Bruce is "too old" is clear evidence that we are not being exposed to everything that we have a right to be. With recent mergers leaving about 5 or 6 corporations in control of most of the media industry, it is easy to see that things can quickly get out of hand. Those companies cannot truthfully say that they are providing the American public with diverse and unbiased information when stations blatantly express their bias towards age and whoever doesn't agree with their political views. I literally just got done seeing Bruce in Cleveland tonight and before playing 'Magic' he mentioned what the song was actually about. As it turns out, it's about the media. If you read the interview in Rolling Stone as well, it says that 'Magic' is about the media turning truth into lies, playing tricks on everyone who watches or listens, and essentially the power that those few major media corporations have over us. In the words of the Boss himself, "Trust none of what you hear, and less of what you see."

rmfretz said...

He had the same message in NJ. Actually, Cleveland was the first time I saw him. Drove the 5 hours from where I lived in Michigan. It had me hooked.