I woke up this morning and turned on Morning Joke as I do every morning because I am a glutton for punishment and although odious, Joe and Mika are better than anything on FauxNewz or Corporate News Network. Imagine my surprise when I got the "blue screen" from Cablevision explaining that now MSNBC was only available to digital subscribers (at a much higher monthly rate). Of course, I still was permitted access to Faux and CNN. Does anyone think this was a random decision? Follow me over the fold for my diatribe.
Yep. I have the "digital cable" box installed on the big TV in our living room. But if I wanted digital on other screens in my home -- kitchen, bedroom, rec room -- I would have had to pay for digital subscription and box rental for each of these rooms. That would turn an already outrageous $65/ month for TV into a bill at least twice as high.
So the ancillary TVs in my home just connect to the analog cable that comes bundled with the digital signal through the cable line.
There are numerous channels I get with the digital box in the living room that I do not get on the other TVs and I am okay with that. I don't begrudge the cable industry the right to make a profit as purveyors of entertainment. But the newsmedia (such as it is) has a Constitutional mandate to serve the public good/. Fourth Estate and all that. Cablevision's decision to require premium service in order to receive the only MSM news channel that even comes close to telling the truth about things cannot be coincidental.
I called their customer service line this morning and explained why I felt this was unjust. I further explained that I would be urging all my friends and relatives in the area to call and lodge the same compliant. I have penned letters to the editors of all my local papers and wish to truly put pressure on these bastards to reverse this insidious corporatist attempt to choke off information. I told Cablevision that if this wasn't reversed within thirty days that I would be taking my business elsewhere (although, I am not sure if there is anywhere else less compromised to receive news).
Mrs. Robb tried to console me by pointing out that I get most of my news from online sources and not from TV. But I know that most Americans, God help them, only get their news from the vapid, TV talking heads. In addition, only wealthier folks can afford to waste money on such frivolities as digital cable in every room. So its a safe assumption that folks on the lower end of the economic spectrum will be those most affected by this calculated suspension of access to relatively more truthful news. Not having the critical counterbalance of Olbermann and Maddow available to underscore the hypocrisy and mendacity of the rest of them is doing a huge disservice to the truth.
If you live as I do in the NorthEast (I am in NY State), in NY, NJ, CT or anywhere there is Cablevision or iO Optimum services, please call and register your disgust with this decision. http://www.cablevision.com
"You want the truth? YOU CANNOT AFFORD THE TRUTH!!!"