WESLEY CLARK SLAMS MEDIA CONSOLIDATION

January 5, 2004

AdAge,  January 5, 2004

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (AdAge.com) — The consolidation of American media companies should stop and rules that safeguard local media company independence need to be reinstated, Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark said.

Retired 4-star general and Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark stumped New Hampshire and thumped media conglomerates over the weekend.

In response to questions as he stumped across the Granite State toward the Jan. 27 presidential primary, the retired 4-star general from Arkansas was critical of both big media and an entertainment industry he characterized as creating and selling ever more violent video games to children.

Combat training videos

He even suggested that many of the video games now being sold to consumers are more violent than the video game simulations used by the U.S. military to train its troops in the realities of combat.

In his broader comments from the campaign stage, Mr. Clark attacked the Bush Administration for, among other things, its Iraq War policies, its failure to track down Olsama bin Laden, the loss of U.S. jobs and inadequate health care measures.

Working the campaign trail casually dressed in a red mock turtleneck and brown corduroys, Mr. Clark told the audience in Portsmouth’s South Church that “I don’t think it is in the American public interest to further consolidate the media.”

Answering this reporter’s question, the candidate said media consolidation “is damaging to putting out diverse opinions and fostering public dialogue… We need to distribute the ownership in media. We need to have the fairness in broadcasting rules put back in place.”

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