[NEWS AND VIEWS]
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December 03, 2003In the US, Howard Dean - front-running Democratic presidential candidate - has caused a stir by suggesting he'd break up big media corporations.
"Yes, we're going to break up giant media enterprises," Dean promised. "What we're going to do is say that media enterprises can't be as big as they are today."
Dean claimed that "11 companies in this country control 90 percent of what ordinary people are able to read and watch on their television," adding that "We need locally-owned radio stations. There are only two or three radio stations left in the state of Vermont [the state he governs] where you can get local news anymore. The rest of it is read and ripped from the AP."
Many commentators sniff blood. CK Rairden, writing in the Washington Dispatch, claims that Dean is unravelling, as the "real Howard Dean is revealed," while James Lileks asks: "does Dean really want to be President?" Answering his own question: "one wonders, when he opens his mouth."
It remains to be seen if going after big media will prove a good campaign tactic but, as yet, there is no word on this story on Dean's own blog.
Dean is getting a lot of international coverage not just for what he is saying, but for the way he is trying to use the web to build a grassroots campaign (see also here, here, here and here).