Some notes (and audio) from the House Committee Hearing on the proposed Comcast / NBC merger

Posted by Mitchell - July 8, 2010 (entry 653)

About 50 people attended the House Committee Hearing on the proposed Comcast / NBC merger, held in the Dirksen Federal Building, and just down the hall from where U.S. v. Blagojevich trial was taking place.

Five representatives from the committee -- Bobby Rush, Maxine Waters, and three white people whose names I don't remember offhand -- questioned five invited speakers to discuss the potential ramifications of the merger, particularly focusing on questions of diversity of communities of color in hiring practices, management, and TV programming. Mind you, three of those five invited speakers were employees of the two parties at issue or related entities, and to little surprise supported the merger. (Yup, that's some unbiased testimony.)

The full audio, nearly 95 minutes' worth, is here.

Some quick highlights:

* A gentleman whom I met beforehand tried to wedge his way onto the schedule (about 25 minutes in) and was rebuked by the meeting chair.

* Maxine Waters was relentless in her questioning about NBC standing for Nothing But Caucasians (right near the end). I think she hammered this point home because it is a going concern, and one which only is addressed (or seems to be addressed) whenever mergers like this happen, promises are made regarding diversity or other good things, and then those promises are ignored almost as soon as the merger goes through.

* One of the white Congressional representatives (I didn't get his name) actually made some salient points that made the Rainbow PUSH representative who testified look bad, and left speechless. It's at about the 70 minute mark.

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