This should be about us, all of us. Did John McCain serve us well, or serve us poorly?
The buried lede is John McCain's record, as chair of the Senate Commerce Committee, regarding telecommunications issues and media consolidation. The fact is he endorsed monopolization, every step of the way.
Why do you see no more local programming on your TeeVee? Why are all your radio stations canned and controlled in Corpus Christi? Why do you have, at most, two choices for Internet access? Why are your bills going up instead of down?
Media consolidation. And John McCain has endorsed it, enabled it, for a decade now. The why or how is really immaterial.
The specific moves at issue in the McCain-lobbyist story is his work for Paxson Communications. (The company is now called ION, but Lowell Paxson, left, was the client in question.) Paxson wanted to buy more stations, wanted to buy multiple stations in single markets, and wanted to hold up the government by claiming to "own" TV frequencies the FCC had only let it license.
McCain greased all these moves. He let Paxson slide time-after-time, as he let AT&T slide, as he let Clear Channel slide, as he let Comcast slide. He did nothing to spur new competition in telecommunications, nothing to assure competition in the broadcasting business.
That's the God's honest truth, and it doesn't matter why. John McCain is the greatest friend monopolists have ever had. He pretends to stand against them, but he enables their every move. He has been doing this for over a decade now, and all the media let him get away with it. In fact, they're still letting him get away with it.
I don't care whether John McCain cheated on his second wife. If he were doing the peoples' business, he could have had a harem in the Senate cloakroom and it wouldn't have mattered to me. I don't care about the appearances of impropriety. I don't care whether a specific lobbyist can be linked to a specific bill.
What I care about is the fact that John McCain has trampled the very concept of competition, and allowed the U.S. to fall behind the rest of the world in terms of Internet access and media diversity. His record on these issues is incontrovertible and indisputable. He's given us a lot of hemming-and-hawing, and in the end has let monopolization go forward, to the benefit of a few lazy moguls and the detriment of the American people.
John McCain was given the power to do something about media consolidation. He did nothing about it. He was given the power to do something about telecommunications and Internet consolidation. He did nothing about it.
That's the story. Why haven't you seen it anywhere, in any newspaper, or magazine on on any TV? Why does a blogger have to tell you this? That's the scandal.