I do not believe I am writing this blog post. But then, we appear to be living in an age when even the most ridiculous things will be believed –provided it confirms our worst and most cynical expectations.
In the last few days, I have been hearing the most ridiculous rumor, which only grows more lurid in the retelling. It goes like this. After the Comcast/NBC merger was approved, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and his staff got together after hours in the Chairman’s office and toasted the merger with champagne. My response to this was “yes, after which they feasted together upon the living hearts of independent programmers and drank their blood from crystal goblets, laughing manically and toasting to evil.” Because really, this is the kind of nonsense I’d expect to see in some over the top made-for-cable movie. So I tweeted: “I am inclined to doubt rumors that Chairman’s staff met w/Comcast lobbyists after merger to become Death Eaters.”
My intent, of course, being to show how ridiculous the Comcast/NBC rumor was. To my surprise, I have now heard that some people seem to think my intent with this tweet was to confirm the rumor!
I find this rather stunning, but perhaps not surprising in the overall zeitgeist of popular culture about DC these days. But it’s important to maintain perspective. There is plenty of room to disagree with how Genachowski is running the FCC, that’s how the policy game works. Nor have I been shy in speaking up when I think Genachowski and the agency have gone off-course and put politics before policy. And while I was relatively pleased with the Comcast/NBC online video conditions, I would much rather have seen Copps’ view prevail and seen the merger rejected. But, as I said repeatedly when the Republicans were running things, that I disagree with someone does not make them a sellout. Really.
So let us please have a bit of a reality check on some of the wilder rumors. But to be clear.
1. Contrary to assertions by the Mubarak government and some protesters, Genachowski is not responsible for fomenting unrest in Egypt through his control of the American media.
2. Genachowski was not really born in Kenya.
3. And no, I do not believe that Genachowski and his staff gathered together in the Chairman’s Office to drink champagne after the Comcast/NBC merger closed. Really.
Stay tuned . . . .