Hey, when the mic is on and you’re irritated about something, why not bring it up? Al Franken used the Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Elena Kagan to talk some sh*t about his good friends Comcast and NBC and their planned nuptials.
He started by explaining that he is “extremely concerned” about the planned merger between NBC and Comcast, and said that “media consolidation really matters in a fundamental way.”
Franken told Kagan he feels that “when the same company owns programming and runs the pipes that bring us programming, I think we have a problem. I’m interested in the ways the Supreme Court affects the information that you and I get when you turn on the TV or read the newspaper.”
“60 years ago in United States V The Associated Press the Supreme Court found that the [1st] amendment supported aggressive anti-trust enforcement,” he continued.
“If Comcast and NBC merge, I worry that AT&T and Verizon are going to decide that, well, they have to buy ABC, CBS to compete. And that will mean there will be less independent programming, fewer voices, and a smaller marketplace of ideas. That’s a First Amendment problem. It’s also an anti-trust problem.”
Kagan was polite and eventually said she would defer to people who know more about anti-trust policy issues than she does.