Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Don't cry, fight

Well, if the Ottaways and disaffected Bancrofts are really upset with Murdoch's takeover, why not compete? Or does Murdoch's takeover deal include a no-compete agreement? Even if it does, one can always find ways to silently back a competitor.

Why not gather together a group of investors, some flush with Murdoch bucks, to set up a really new media outfit, one without all the baggage of antiquated ways? Form a hybrid of the best of the new and the old media to form a concern that makes a statement: Excellence, honesty and reliability are what we sell.

I doubt whether a no-compete clause can cover a general interest concern that includes expert business coverage. In fact, one can always make a legal case that there is a key difference between business news and financial news.

Though Murdoch is planning to parlay Dow Jones into a business news network that competes with CNBC (which for the next few years has exclusive rights to Dow Jones data), there is also this: an international conspiracy to limit the presidential campaign discourse and assure an outcome acceptable to Murdoch's silent partners. Whether this ploy will work as the information age rapidly morphs is hard to say.

Anti-dictator deal needed
No one in his or her right mind should trust that Bush/Cheney won't invoke some form of martial law in order to keep control.

What is needed is a deal that if Bush lifts a pinky one more time in that direction, impeachment proceedings will begin against him and Cheney. Pelosi, who would become interim president, would need to give her word that she would not run for election to the presidency in 2008. That would placate the current Democratic presidential candidates.

Unfortunately, that assurance would immediately make her a lame duck. But, the trade-off beats the peril of dictatorship. Amid new disclosures over Bush's sweeping surveillance programs, one can hardly claim that concern over the peril of dictatorship is merely a result of a paranoid conspiracy theory.

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