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Comcast Merger With NBC-Universal Sets Stage For Latest Jesse Jackson Shakedown

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Posted on July 12 2010 3:00 pm
Walter Hudson is a political commentator and co-founder of Minnesota's North Star Tea Party Patriots, a statewide educational organization. He runs a blog entitled Fightin Words. He also contributes to True North, a hub of Minnesotan conservative commentary. Follow his work via Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

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Let’s say a government inspector comes into your place of business and finds a number of violations which may or may not be legitimate. What would you think if he offered to ignore the violations in exchange for a percentage of your profits?

That would be extortion, right? Whether you had actually done anything wrong would suddenly be moot. The question would become whether you were going to play ball in a corrupt system.

As Comcast and NBC/Universal seek policy makers’ blessing of their proposed merger, they appear to face a similar dilemma. Testimony at a recent hearing in Chicago centered around the merger’s potential impact, not on competition, but racial diversity.

Initially, it appeared the merger would be framed as a debate about how it would impact consumers…

… what emerged as the core of discussion… was diversity. This was how it was framed and it became increasingly clear that Comcast and NBC Universal had been asked to make commitments to diversity by representatives if they wanted to get a merger deal and if they wanted representatives in Congress to work with them and make this merger happen without FCC or Department of Justice interference.

Beneath its veneer of political correctness, is this not blatant corruption? Should interference by the FCC or the Department of Justice really be contingent upon “commitments to diversity?”

A merged Comcast-NBC Uni should spend 25% of all advertising, marketing and vendor dollars with minority-owned firms, [Jesse] Jackson said. He called for training programs for minorities and for the company to pluck new hires from “multicultural career fairs.” And mentoring programs should encourage students to aspire to work in telecommunications.

“Diversity should be a top-down priority in every aspect of the merger,” Jackson said in his prepared remarks.

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