[MKE - Indymedia] clear channel

Daniel Pryzbyla pryz1 at earthlink.net
Thu Dec 30 20:45:46 PST 2004

Clear Channel and Hispanic Chamber Divides Community
By Robert Miranda
"Taking Sides"
Milwaukee Spanish Journal
The media empire of Clear Channel Communications has grown through a combination of acquisitions, changes in the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules, and political lobbying campaigns. Starting out as a small obscure company based out of San Antonio, the company moved quickly to become the largest radio broadcaster in the United States, after growing from 40 stations to over 1,200—thanks in large part to the 1996 Telecommunications Act, which relaxed radio ownership rules. 
In his 1983 book, The Media Monopoly, author Ben Bagdikian predicted that “If mergers, acquisitions and takeovers continue at the present rate, one massive firm will be in virtual control of all major media...”
Indeed, before Mark Belling attacked the Mexican/Hispanic community with his tirades of bigotry, many people in Milwaukee probably never heard of Clear Channel Communications. Considering the fact that this giant corporation owns some significant radio stations in the Milwaukee area, i.e., WISN-AM; WKKV-FM; WLTQ-FM; WMIL-FM; WOKY-AM and WRIT-FM local listeners should be aware of the political power this for-profit company flexes when it needs to.
Clear Channel is known to have strong ties to the Republican Party. Clear Channel's CEO L. Lowry Mays—a major Republican donor and onetime business associate of George W. Bush—is not afraid to hide his support for the neo-conservative policies of the right-wing fundamentalist now in control of the White House. 
Clear Channel’s political manipulations nationally have served to help them follow a model for local political manipulations. The Milwaukee representatives of this corporation display a cavalier and hostile kind of approach when dealing with people they do not consider friends who have “shared goals”. 
Indeed, Clear Channel Communications representatives have employed a divide and conquer approach against our community’s leadership. Opting to work exclusively with Maria Cameron of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, shows this corporation’s willingness to create political instability within our community. Can this be attributed to Clear Channel’s relentless obsession with its bottom line? Do notions of localism and community interests and justice mean nothing and are seen as expendable when profit margins are affected?
For the moment, the dishonor left by one of Clear Channel’s employees—Mark Belling—sits on the face of the Latino community like some wicked scab. The dignity of the Mexican people was sold for a corporate dinner table, an autographed guitar, a picture signed by Shania Twain, and some "premium 'down front' Milwaukee Bucks game tickets and two boxes each filled with fifty popular CD's from of [sic] variety of artists” to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce as part of its contributions to help with the Chamber’s fundraising silent auction held at its annual banquet. 
What Clear Channel has done to divide this community’s leadership is an example of irresponsibility and coldness to the idea of respect and community dignity. Shame on Clear Channel for its political manipulations and shame on the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce for putting a price on dignity.

Daniel Pryzbyla
pryz1 at earthlink.net
Why Wait? Move to EarthLink.
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