Saturday, April 23, 2005

NPR's Crocodile Tears on LPFM.

Here's a Golden Oldie you'll all enjoy: In 2001 the NPR Ombudsman consoled us all regarding the NPR's victory in killing Low Power FM Radio. The LPFM initiative would have allowed the establishment of 2000 FM radio stations with radiated power of less than 100 watts. This was proposed by the FCC in response to the surge in unlicensed broadcasts of local public-access oriented LPFM since the early 1990s. The licensed LPFM stations would have legitimately served a clear need - real community access radio. NPR joined with the NAB, the National Association of Broadcasters, in lobbying Congress to kill LPFM, claiming that these stations would interfere with their broadcasts. This claim was never proved.

Jeffery Dvorkin, the ombudsman, reassured us that traditional public radio can serve these needs. Yeah, when can we schedule the local high school basketball game on the NPR station? Public access radio - whether unprofessional or uneven in production quality - is as legitimate a mission as broadcasting All Things Considered to every square mile of Kansas. Who made NPR the arbiter of what people need or want? If some fleabag ten-watter chooses to broadcast a lecture of a local author at the public library, why is this of any concern to you?

Congratulations, NPR: you have met the enemy and he is We hereby bestow upon your corporation the right dishonorable title of Monopoly. Take your seat next to J.D. Rockefeller, Jay Gould, Pierpont Morgan, and Clear Channel Communications.

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