March 19, 2003


BAD RECEPTION FOR CLEAR CHANNEL?: According to a story in the Chicago Tribune (found via Romanesko), the media giant Clear Channel Communications has in recent weeks been sponsoring pro-war/pro-patriotism rallies in major cities throughout the US. The brainchild of Philadelphia talk-show host Glenn Beck (a Clear Channel employee), the rallies have drawn crowds of up to 20,000 people in cities that include Atlanta, Cleveland, San Antonio, and Cincinnati.
Now in this case I agree with Clear Channel's cause (both the pro-war part and pro-patriotism part), and I certainly don't consider them to be as sketchy in their motives as some of the in-the-shadows backers of the recent anti-war demonstrations (Ramsey Clark, the neo-Stalinists of International ANSWER, et. al). But that said, this looks really, really bad: not only is it unseemingly for corporations to augment their numerous campaign contributions with actual in-the-streets political organizing, but anyone who has followed Clear Channel's activities in recent years could tell you that they're among America's most shady corporations- guilty of everything from monopolizing radio stations and concert promotions in numerous cities to encouraging the proliferation of really awful music. Just as I'd call on people of conscience who oppose the war to repudiate Mr. Clark and the other less-than-honorable individuals backing their rallies, I say unequivically that I don't want Clear Channel on my side on this one.
Mass demonstrations are supposed to organized by the people- not by the government, or by corporations who own radio stations. If you ask me, Clear Channel should just stick to promoting Limp Bizkit concerts.
(On second thought, maybe they shouldn't do that, either).

Posted by Stephen Silver at March 19, 2003 02:14 PM
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