What does the NRA care about broadcast ownership rules?

Yes, that’s the National Rifle Association. According to this AP story,

This is a battle they’ve lost, BTW, since the restrictions have been substantially reduced. I went to the NRA website and didn’t find anything about this subject.

Anybody know the NRA’s policy on this? Anybody know WHY they would have a policy on this?

I would guess that they would oppose greater centralization of media ownership because they know that media are being more and more concentrated into the hands of anti-gun cultists of the Ted Turner ilk. This makes guns-at-any-cost cultists unhappy.

The NRA is concerned for the same reasons as the civil rights and religious groups – they fear that increased consolodation of media ownership will lead to a narrower range of political views being expressed on the air.

Interestingly enough, Ted Turner agrees that “There’s really five companies that control 90 percent of what we read, see and hear. It’s not healthy.”

Ted Turner’s beliefs are very unusual for a media baron. I don’t think companies like Fox and Clear Channel have a problem with gun ownership.

And many media companies also have investments in the arms industry. Westinghouse who own CBS and General Electric who own NBC both have subdivisions in the defence industry: Westinghouse has major interests in military electronics, and GE provides engines for Apache helicopters and many fighter jets. The Carlyle Group, which is mainly a defence company has a number of media holdings, and there are many other examples.

As an NRA life member, I was a bit confused by this myself. Apparently, the NRA thinks this will allow some broadcaster who is pro-gun control to dominate the airwaves. Frankly, the NRA doesn’t know what it’s talking about in this instance. The old rules were outdated and don’t make sense in today’s world, and I’m glad the FCC updated them. The NRA should stick to defending the Second Amendment and not worry about media ownership rules. I hate it when organizations who have one primary focus start weighing-in on issues they don’t know anything about.

Leave it to the BBC to compress the issue into a bite-size chunk. from today’s coverage of the FCC action:

In the US, Clear Channel has come in for criticism for allowing its radio stations to organise rallies to back the war in Iraq and ban music by bands which were against it, like the Dixie Chicks.

The NRA (and a bunch of other groups, as noted) feel that if a media organization throws its weight around by organizing rallies and banning artists who don’t agree, the next rallies and banning could come at their expense. And the larger the media organization, the more weight it will have to throw around.