BILL MAHER: In 1983… there were 50 media companies, now there’s only six — they’ve been consolidated — and they are corporations and corporations have a political agenda: I mean, they’re anti-regulation, they’re anti-tax, they’re anti-labor. In that same period we have seen regulations diminish, taxes go down, union membership go down. Is that a coincidence?
DAN RATHER: No, it’s not a coincidence… your point is well taken. Whether you’re a conservative or a liberal or a progressive, a Democrat or a Republican, everybody can be and should be concerned about this: the constant consolidation of media, particularly national distribution of media, with a few companies — no more than six, my count is four — now control more than 80 percent of the true national distribution of news. These large corporations, they have things they need from the power structure in Washington, whether it’s Republican or Democrat, and of course the people in Washington have things they want the news to be reported. To put it bluntly, very big business is in bed with very big government in Washington, and has more to do with what the average person sees, hears, and reads than most people know.