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Fox Cheers Knight-Ridder Sale - We Need "Fewer Players"

Reported by Melanie - March 13, 2006

You may have heard the news, announced this morning, that newspaper publisher McClatchy Co. is buying Knight-Ridder Inc. for $4.5 billion in cash and stock.

Knight-Ridder has been lauded for its excellent reporting on many topics but specifically for its objective and comprehensive reporting during the run-up to the Iraq war. Many analysts attributed the fine job Knight-Ridder did then to the fact that it did not have a significant presence in the Washington, D.C. area, thus leaving it relatively free of the political influences that affected so many prominent voices in the media during that time (and today). Knight-Ridder, unlike almost all mainstream U.S. media, didn't cheerlead for the Bush administration.

The sale of Knight-Ridder is worrisome because one of the higher quality voices in the bland sameness that is the U.S. mainstream media could be muzzled or even silenced. But, does that matter to Fox News? Of course not.

Jonathan Hoenig, one of the cast members on Fox's Saturday morning "business news" show, Cashin' In, was a guest today (March 13, 2006) on Your World w/Neil Cavuto. The topic of discussion was the increase in merger and acquisition activity on Wall Street. Hoenig, of the aptly named, "CapitalistPig Asset Management," could hardly contain his excitement about the deal. He said, "The newspaper industry has gotten its head handed to it so, you know, Knight-Ridder; the industry needs to consolidate. There needs to be fewer players."

Comment: Hoenig is exactly wrong. The last thing we need are "fewer players." Media consolidation and more and more of a move toward "news" like this - "news" that speaks to corporate interests instead of to the interests of the American people - is what we've got way too much of already.

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