15 July 2007

Rosie O'Donnell & the Amoral Market

We read it in the aforementioned comments over at the Seattle PI about the fairness doctrine and we read it in a post our buddy made on cougarboard.com. We refer, of course, to the hokey notion that because media outlets are controlled by supposedly "conservative" business interests, that makes the media outlets they control ipso facto conservative.

Nevermind the fact that in the last several election cycles, most businesses donated almost equally to both the Republican and Democratic parties. Where they don't give equally, it is based on who they think has the best chance of winning, not ideology. They want to support whoever will eventually be sitting on the Ways and Means Committee--regardless of political party. Ignore also the fact that few businesses are controlled by some small cabal of middle aged white males who, along with trying to gain monopolistic control of their industry, work tirelessly towards their ultimate goal of playing puppetmaster with the US government. Come on. Aren't we too old for these crazy conspiracy theories?

Capitalism, markets, business--these things are neither Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal. The market is neither moral nor immoral. It seeks only profit. This guiding principle applies equally to the media. If a corporate interest believes ratings will rise and with it their profits, they will keep Rosie O'Donnell on the air until the public tires of her. If Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert or Keith Olbermann makes them money, they will continue to fund production of their shows. The same thing applies (obviously) to conservative media. These businesses didn't pull their advertising from Air America because of politics, they stopped buying airtime because Air America didn't have enough listeners.

Wake up. If there are dollars to be made, and one company will ignore the opportunity because of some ideological difference, you can bet your bottom dollar that their competitor will step in and take advantage of the opening. They don't care if Democrats, Republicans, Communists or Atheists buy their widgets, they just want to make a profit. That's business. That's capitalism. That's the amoral market.

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