Saturday, June 21, 2014

Rural Programming Assaults

No matter how much I try to avoid having my blood pressure raised, something comes down the pike to spike it up.

Watching RFD TV this morning, the network founder and CEO brought up the matter of the cable network Comcast and pending mergers involving Direct TV satellite network and other entities. While not opposing the mergers at this time, a very serious warning was sounded and given what has happened in New Mexico and Colorado thanks to Comcast, I think it's a legitimate warning to issue. And it makes my blood boil.

It appears that Comcast in its infinite wisdom decided to yank RFD-TV off in New Mexico and Colorado, and put up the Muslim-owned Al Jazeera Channel in its place. In testimony before Congress, Comcast officials tried to argue that people need to understand they're an "urban" group. Excuse me? In NEW MEXICO AND COLORADO? Ok, sure - Denver is a big city. But New Mexico and Colorado are not New York. And please, tell me where this screechingly-loud demand for Al Jazeera programming is outside of Detroit?

Even if Comcast serves an urban environment, there are also millions of Americans who do NOT live in an urban environment. Broadcasters have a responsibility to keep the interests of all the public in mind, not just urbanites. There are rural interests, and considering agriculture's overall importance to the nation as a whole, they need to be taken into account. After all, if no food is produced in rural America, urban America doesn't eat. Think about it.

This smells to high heaven. It reminds me of the "rural massacre" in the early 70s, when the network suits of the day elected to cancel wholesome programming like "Green Acres," "The Beverly Hillbillies," Red Skelton's comedy show, and other shows. There was no ratings excuse either. All the shows that got cancelled were still performing well in the ratings. This was a conscious network decision to do something else. It made no sense then and it makes no sense now. It wasn't long before network television began airing much raunchier fare, and we can see where that all ended up. Today's TV is fairly unwatchable without a big bottle of eye bleach nearby.

The trained journalist in me was taught to avoid conspiracy theories without documentable evidence. I haven't researched this out enough to give statistics, facts, and figures, so please understand - this is a rant based on a concern raised by a valued television network that serves a specific population. I have a pretty strong hunch RFD TV also has a pretty good audience in urban areas too, at least among families who want to keep their children away from the sleaze shows offered elsewhere.

If you want more information, visit RFD TV's site. And join in to let the FCC know that dumping wholesome programming for specious reasons is not acceptable.

Al Jazeera? Seriously? Can't help wonder what is really behind this move, and how much money is involved.

1 comment:

lee n. field said...

We'll all be forced into ubran arcologies soon, anyway, comrade.