Ed Driscoll

Information Monopoly Ripe For Dissolution

Riffing off of one of Glenn Reynolds’ comments, John Hinderaker explores what is also one of my pet peeves while flying: there’s no escaping CNN:

The airports of America–as far as I can tell, there aren’t any exceptions–have entered into a contract with CNN whereby CNN’s outrageously one-sided coverage blares non-stop at every airline gate in the U.S. Talk about a captive audience! You really don’t have any choice but to sit at the gate, waiting for your plane to load, and the volume is turned up so loud that you can’t miss a single snarky attack on the Bush administration. Frankly, I think I’d rather be waterboarded. Do you suppose John McCain can do something about this?

This is just one of many manifestations of the fact that the Democratic Party is the “home team” of American politics. CNN is the “official” news network, viewed by corporate America as neutral and unobjectionable even though, in fact, it is relentlessly liberal. If anyone proposed that they shift the contract over to Fox, for the sake of more competent news coverage if nothing else, the reaction would be: we can’t do that, Fox is conservative! It isn’t, actually, for the most part. But occasional moments of conservatism will drive a network more or less underground, while constant liberalism is considered middle of the road, and suitable for infliction–like it or not–on the air travelers of America.

Ironically, in American Airlines’ Admirals’ Clubs, where I often chill out before taking off, and presumably, other airport locales where people are given a choice of what to view, much more often than not, Fox News is on. But at the gates, there is no escape from CNN.

(Insert obligatory 1984 telescreen reference here.)

Update: Is there hope for air travelers? S.T. Karnick is seeing “strong signs of a reversal of the media consolidation of recent decades”. Hopefully that trend will begin to occur inside America’s airports as well.