I believe that getting money out of politics would be a good thing, but it’s just not going to happen, except in my imaginary utopia.
The general problem with removing money from advertising on TV (and presumably radio?) is that the revenues aren’t used for political promotions, but to purchase programming (and to make some profit, of course).
As we have discussed many times, Radio Stations have to pay to carry, say, Rush Limbaugh. In return, they are “given” a certain amount of “commercial time” which they then sell to whoever will pay for it to help offset – and in a perfect world make more than it costs – the price of having Rush on the station. This is made even odder by the fact that Premier Networks required iHeart Media (nee Clear Channel) stations to carry these shows, which are, of course, produced by Clear Channel (Premier is a subsidiary). Most radio stations – and I would presume TV Stations – spend most of their time chasing ad dollars to keep their heads above water.
Nothing used to drive me battier than people wanting me to pitch for money for a political candidate or issue. “No,” I would tell them, “Buy an ad on the station or buy a service or product from the advertiser. That way we keep the shows on the air that talk about your candidate or issue.”
In any case, while Ad revenues are astronomical, I know that – at least in talk radio – it’s generally a barely break even money proposition. We’d make about $5 Million/year in ad revenue, and spend about $5.2 Million keeping the station running. Only subsidies from stations that weren’t political (i.e. Adult Contemporary Music) made enough to subsidize the stations in the cluster that were loss leaders, usually, Talk and niche music stations.
It is something to think about though. Money = power. If money also equals speech, then by definition speech is power.
And one thing we know about humans, they hate giving up power…
“What if” is a dangerous way to start a blog post. Dealing with hypotheticals, at least from the perspective of history, is often an exercise in futility and frustration due to the fact that we often have a good idea of the second- and third-order effects that may have happened.
In this case, however, I am briefly stepping away from my routine of discussing history and personal experiences to mull over a “what if” that came to mind last night:
What if advertising revenue was prohibited from media outlets?
To provide context, I had to bring up three posts for relevance and to see/show how my mind works…
Things Always on my Mind from 21 Feb 2018 closed with a brief statement about advertising during debates four years ago:
With costs ranging from $400,000 to $600,000, the active an passive approach to deterring threats to the students is noteworthy…
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