Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick: How Local TV Broadcasters Exert Political Power

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iUniverse, 2005 - Philosophy - 620 pages
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"Broadcasters have always been coddled by politicians, and Speak Softly explains how and why. J.H. Snider tells the story with the rigor of a scholar, the doggedness of an investigative reporter and the zeal of a reformer."-Paul Taylor, Executive Vice President, Pew Research Center"J.H. Snider offers an extremely comprehensive and well-documented look 'behind the curtain' at how the National Association of Broadcasters drives its national legislative agenda. This is must reading for not only political scientists but for all who are interested in media policy and how it gets made in Washington."-Chellie Pingree, President and CEO, Common Cause"This astute book is a first-rate work of original scholarship. It also provides an unsettling description of broadcasters' policy influence. When their own interests are involved, broadcasters cannot be trusted to act in the way they demand of all others in society. Readers will no doubt question whether J.H. Snider's recommended solution is a practical one. But no reader will question his call for new measures."-Thomas E. Patterson, Bradlee Professor of Government and the Press, Harvard University"Having played a role in the mad-cap drama of telecommunications legislation Snider documents, I can tell you he has captured the essence of the machinations, strange bedfellows, and almost single-minded, righteous self-interest that drives the telecommunications debate. Like it or not, this is how the power game is really played."-Stephen R. Effros, Former President (1976-1999), Cable Telecommunications Association"Speak Softly documents the broadcast industry's striking influence on public policy, including the landmark Telecommunications Act of 1996. As Congress gears up to re-write the Act, J.H. Snider's analysis is particularly timely."-Kevin Werbach, Professor, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania"This is a theoretically rigorous and meticulously researched examination of the growing conflicts of interest embedded in our communications policymakers and the media institutions that cover them. Snider's documentation of the various means by which broadcasters can influence policymakers -- and the extent to which they use such influence -- on behalf of their own economic self-interest is a wake-up call to any citizen concerned about the future of our media system and our democracy."-Philip Napoli, Professor and Director, Donald McGannon Communication Research Center, Fordham University"This lucid work, based on extensive research and insightful analysis, demonstrates the "low visibility" but effective influence local TV stations have to promote their industry interests at the expense of the public interest; it illustrates this with the 1996 Congressional spectrum "giveaway" to the broadcasters and shows the damage to the nation."-Henry Geller, former Chief Counsel, FCC"This is an indispensable resource for anyone seeking to understand the mechanics of broadcaster bias in the mass-media age. J.H. Snider peers into the files of powerful corporate lobbyists in Washington to shed light on one of the worst cases of industry-government collusion in the last twenty years, involving the wholesale handover to private interests of one of the American public's most valuable assets -- the broadcast spectrum."-Tim Karr, Executive Director, Media Channel"A fascinating and perceptive look at the politics behind the biggest grant of public property to private parties in the 20th Century." -Blair Levin, former Chief of Staff, FCC (1993-1997)"A meticulously researched case study illustrating why 'public interest' regulation of local TV broadcasting has been a cruel charade."---Adam Thierer, Director of Telecommunications Studies, Cato Institute"J.H. Snider lifts up the veil of secrecy to reveal the inner workings of one of the most powerful political lobbying groups in the U.S. Through ground-breakin
  

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Contents

Decisions
62
Was it Reasonable for Legislators to Anticipate
201
Media Trustee Claims
208
The Argument from Authority
221
The Argument From Analogy
254
The Argument from Cause Benefits
297
The Argument from Cause Costs
351
The Argument From Example The Cable Act of 1992
389
The Argument From Example Telecom Act of 1996
434
Public Policy and Other Recommendations
499
References
531
Appendices
551
Copyright

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