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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.

"You want the truth?  YOU CANNOT AFFORD THE TRUTH!!!"

Originally posted to antonrobb on Wed May 20, 2009 at 06:49 AM PDT.


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Comment Preferences

  •  Cablevision also charges you a $9/yr Fox Tax. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Indie Tarheel, Jane Lew

    It collects 75 cents a month from you and sends it straight to Fox News Channel. Now you know why it's called a cable bill.

    Call Phil Griffin at MSNBC. Tell him you want MSNBC broadcast, on a DTV subchannel. But first cut cable.

    As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.

    by ticket punch on Wed May 20, 2009 at 06:56:32 AM PDT

  •  Bail out. Pull the rip-cord. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ticket punch, Indie Tarheel, Jane Lew

    We also live in New York, in a very rural area. I have the choice of paying close to $100/month to the local cable monopoly (yep, only one vendor of cable service here), or of spending just as much for sattelite dish service, which sucks this far North, essentially failing with every rainstorm.

    So we voted "none of the above". My wife is satisfied with the handful of channels we get from an old-fashioned antenna in the attic, and everything else is Internet.

  •  Cut the cable. n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ticket punch, Indie Tarheel

    St. Ronnie was an asshole.

    by manwithnoname on Wed May 20, 2009 at 07:34:25 AM PDT

  •  The Atlanta market is owned by Comcast. (0+ / 0-)

    MSNBC is not on basic cable, which means most Atlantans never see Chris Matthews (unless they catch him Sun am), or Keith Olberman, or Ed Shultz, or Rachael Maddow. There is no voice of truth in Atlanta, in other words. Well, not entirely, there is C-span and Jim Lehrer.

    •  How Awful (0+ / 0-)

      Isn't CNN HQ in Atlanta?  Maybe I put on my tinfoil hat a little early today.  But doesn't this smack of some kind of behind the scenes political shenannigans? Just so happens that in CNN-town, there's no access to alternative viewpoints?

      I had a teacher in gradeschool in the 70s who said, "In the future, the people who control the information will control the world".  It seemed so unbelievable to me as a kid.  "What'tre they gonna do?  Lock the library?" I thought to myself.  Now I understand what this person was trying to convey to our young, unformed minds.  Scary.

  •  Hate to be Pilate here, but what is Truth? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Indie Tarheel

    I'm reading a discussion about cable "news" channels.

    As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.

    by ticket punch on Wed May 20, 2009 at 07:54:35 AM PDT

    •  Point Taken (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ticket punch

      Yes it does seem like something of an oxymoron the term "cable news".  And I get your point that one shouldn't expect ANY truth on the TEE VEE.  BUt my point was simply that as Kossacks and Netroots, we represent a small fraction of the overall population.  MOst knuckleheads rely on their TEE VEE boxes for news.  Not that MSNBC has clean hands, but they are the only outlet providing counterbalance to the outright lies and stinking horseshit that passes for "news" at Fux and Corporate News Network.  For this, it is being unfairly priced out of the reach of the more vulnerable among us.  Its so insidious it makes me boil and seethe.

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