My friend, Gina McCauley at What About Our Daughters, is fond of using that term when influential Black people use their influence against the Black Communities they purport to represent.

What you might not know is that there’s a lil’ piece of legislation that’s floating around on Capitol Hill being promoted as saving Black Radio (HR 848), but in essence, the legislation may very well kill it.

If a public interest test for broadcast licensees were ever administered, few if any commercial broadcasters would pass. That certainly includes black radio. Where a generation ago black radio deployed local news gathering organizations in dozens of cities across the country, with black journalists ferreting out local news, there is not a single urban radio station standing with a news gathering operation. Journalism on black radio has been dead so long that no adults under 45 can recall what it looked or sounded like. The premiere black-owned radio chain, Radio One pioneered the cutting of newsrooms and their replacement with cheaper and more profitable talk shows, mostly about celebrities and relationships.

Bruce Dixon at Black Agenda Report, has more.  And he asks a very salient question.  WHAT PUBLIC SERVICE HAS BEEN PROVIDED BY BLACK RADIO that merits a Federal Bailout?  Furthermore, the bill being sponsored by Rep. Jim Clyburn, also includes a “tax” on radio stations to play the music of your favorite artists, and since that tax will become effective if the bill becomes law, guess who’s going to pay for listening to Jay-Z, his wife, Beyonce, Ciara, or any other artists?

Peep This:

It’s not as if black owned radio stations manage to serve the public on the artistic end either. As Davey D points out on Jared Ball’s Jazz And Justice, the playlists for white owned stations aiming their programming at black audiences are the same as Radio One’s. The corrupt regime of payola rules the airwaves on black owned stations, just as it does on white ones, depriving audiences of the opportunity to hear newer and local artists. A recent study by the Future of Music Coalition indicated that up to half the songs played on the top four radio chains are oldies. Radio One was not among the chains audited, but their playlists differ in no other discernible ways from their white owned competitors.

We’ll be the ones picking up that tab because the radio owners, black and white, have to pass on the costs somewhere.  As if we got that kind of cheddar to dish out.

Additionally, I think we all know what happens when you feed at the Federal Teat.  Though it has not always been enforced on any other industry (the banks should know because they got bailout money courtesy of their boy Geithner, and they don’t have to give any type of accounting or risk doing jail time), we ALL KNOW what will happen if any Black Radio Station takes Federal dollars.

For those of you having a “dit-dit-dit” Carlos Mencia moment, I’ll spell it out.

It means those who own those Black Radio stations, will not have a say in what is broadcast on the air, when it is broadcast and where it is broadcast.  Black Radio Stations will turn into the urban version of George Orwell’s “1984” where Big Brother not only will watch, but fully control what he’s watching.  That’s the way it is when you take Federal money – the Feds get to tell you when you can take a piss and where you go to take that piss.

Black Radio is in a sorry state as it is, and no thanks to those who took the easy way out and sold their stations for less than, well, a two-piece and a biscuit – then try to deny they did when they get called out on it as Gina did back in February.  She tried to raise the issue for discussion then; I’m trying to raise the issue for discussion NOW.  We can’t wait until it’s gone and start hollering to Obama to do something about it when we can raise hell NOW.

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