Channel Worldwide Inc., the nations largest
owner of radio stations (over 1200 stations
in all 50 states and DC),
sponsored the numerous "patriotic rallies"
which were held in various cities around the
country. They organized, advertised, provided
speakers and entertainment for them, and even
handed out numerous American flags to participants.
Clear Channel promoted these as patriotic rallies,
the attendees obviously felt otherwise. In addition
to waving their provided flags, they also held
signs condemning their fellow Americans - liberals,
Hollywood, the Dixie Chicks. They were not so
much patriotic rallies as pro-war rallies, and
not so much pro-war rallies as rallies against
anyone who opposes the Bush administration's
are close ties between the company and President
Bush. The Vice Chair of the company is Tom
Hicks, a member of the Bush Pioneer club
for elite (and generous) donors. The relationship
between Bush and Hicks goes back even further,
however. The two were embroiled in scandal when
Hicks, as University of Texas Regent, was responsible
for granting endowment management contracts
of the newly created (under legislation signed
by Bush) UT Investment Management Co. (UTIMCO).
The contracts were given to firms politically
connected to both Hicks and Bush, including
the Carlyle Group - a firm which has the first
President Bush on the payroll and had the second
one on the payroll until just weeks before receiving
this lucrative business. The board of UTIMCO
also included the Chair of Clear Channel, L.
Lowry Mays. In addition, Hicks purchased the
Texas Rangers from George Bush, making him a
wealthy man through a deal that was partially
sweetened by a shiny new taxpayer financed stadium,
which included valuable land obtained at below
market rates through the use of eminent domain.
or not the close ties between the radio behemoth
Clear Channel and the president have anything
to do with their rallying support for his policies
is unclear. If it were a small company it would
not much matter. But Clear Channel is a media
giant, dominating the radio and promotion industries.
The potential for the alignment of big media
and the government should concern us all, especially
as FCC Chair Michael Powell continues to push
to reduce the barriers to even further media
New York Press and Atrios.
You can view
the connections between CLEAR CHANNEL and the