Also, the commercial media in a superior position, really, to any other corporate lobby, because where would people hear about commercial media or corporate media criticism, where would they hear criticism of them other than in the commercial media?
So the system we have in radio and television today is the direct result of government policies that have been made in our name, in the name of the people, on our behalf, but without our informed consent.
The relationship between the media owner, their relationship isn't strictly with people and audiences. It's also with advertisers, and that's the most relationship in radio; in fact it pays the bills.
What I've found is that there is a tremendous interest in these issues, across the political spectrum, sort of left-right terms we used to describe people don't really hold here exactly.
Maybe if you and ten of your friends could pool your savings and borrow some money and actually buy some obscure station in Sonoma, and then take some chances and have some fun.
The commercial broadcasters have tremendous influence in Washington, D.C., for a couple of reasons. First, they're extremely rich and they have lots of money and they have had for a long time, so they can give money to politicians, which gets their attention.
Our existing media system today is the direct result of government laws and subsidies that created it.
When the government allocates monopoly rights to frequency, and there are only a handful in each community, it's picking the winners in the competition.
When the government picked companies and gave them monopoly rights to frequencies in San Francisco and Los Angeles and New York and Chicago, it was picking the winners of the competition; it wasn't setting the terms of the competition.
And they've got to be held accountable; our broadcasting system has to be made accountable; and unless it is, it's going to be very hard to change anything else for the better in this country.
But having said that, there's also a sea change in attitude towards media.
If you look at the history of broadcasting, what you find is the National Association of Broadcasters is a trade association whose mission is to protect the interests of the commercial broadcasters.
As the mainstream media has become increasingly dependent on advertising revenues for support, it has become an anti-democratic force in society.
The public gets not one penny from them in return for those airwaves.
The whole process of getting licenses to broadcast, which took place decades ago, was done behind closed doors by powerful lobbies, and wealthy commercial interests got all the licenses with no public input, no congressional input for that matter.