National Billion-tainment

It means you can buy part of a broadcasting network, to add to your cable monopoly.

In a joint statement announcing the agreementBrian L. Roberts, the chief executive of Comcast, said the deal was “a perfect fit for Comcast and will allow us to become a leader in the development and distribution of multiplatform ‘anytime, anywhere’ media that American consumers are demanding.” The deal’s genesis lies in frequent flirtations over the last several years between Comcast and General Electric, although serious talks began in March. For Comcast, the purchase is the realization of its long-held ambition to be a major producer of television shows and movies.

I love that part: making it appear as if the viewing public is demanding oligopolistic cornering of entertainment creation and delivery mechanisms only to satisfy our never-ending pursuit of more viewing options. It’s reminiscent of the way the (late) Big Three had to, just had to, start making and selling all those massive SUV’s darn-it because the American public demanded it.

Look for incredible new innovations like bum-fighting and more award-creating reality shows designed to fit snugly into the headrest of your recliner.

The pathetic part is the added window-dressing to the courtship to come – the anti-trust hearings to make damn well certain the deal passes “regulatory muster,” whatever that could mean in this business country. Really, who is trying to make what case? Comcast already is the No. 1 cable provider; in January 2008, a Republican Chairman of the FCC was trying to get the country out of cable Guantanamo, but the industry trade group was having none of that.

“There is an agenda from a Republican chairman that is anti-free market and anti-competitive,” said Kyle McSlarrow, president of the National Cable and Telecommunication Association. “It is disturbing.”

In the world of made-up names, we won’t improve on his. Are we getting to the point where even the word ‘disturbing’ qualifies as Orwellian? How long before Orwellian is Orw- uh oh.

The only, I mean the only salve to this whole thing: the precedent it follows.

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