Ralph Nader dropped by “Real Time with Bill Maher” and wasn’t shy about expressing his serious concerns about corporate power in America. Among other topics, he took a moment to address the potential takeover of Time Warner by Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox.
Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes rejected a takeover bid from 21st Century Fox last month, but that doesn’t mean Murdoch and company are done trying, or that other buyers won’t come calling. Meanwhile, Fox has been selling off assets to increase its war chest, suggesting it might try sweetening the $80 billion cash-and-stock offer that was rejected.
It’s just the latest in a series of big media consolidations. “You know, 40 years ago there were 50 companies, right?” Nader said of the changing media landscape. There are currently six, which would be reduced to five if Fox and Time Warner were to combine.
“The more the big guys swallow everything, they’re going to be more suppressive of diversity and creative artistry, they’re gonna be more top down, they’re gonna be short-sighted, they’re gonna be more attuned to their advertisers, and you’re not gonna have anything left,” Nader told Bill Maher. “Except … the kind of stuff they pump into the minds of little kids, they’ll start pumping totally in the minds of everyone.”
He further pointed out that these companies are using the free public airways to do it, except in the realm of cable television where he states they get monopolies.
“Real Time with Bill Maher” airs on Time Warner-owned HBO every Friday night at 10/9c. Nader joked that Maher would probably be “the first dog he’s going to kick out of the door,” should Rupert Murdoch take over Time Warner.