General Question

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

Should politicians like Mitt Romney be able to own media outlets like Clear Channel and run for President?

Asked by SquirrelEStuff (6672 points ) June 26th, 2011

Mitt Romneys company, Bain Capital, bought Clear Channel communications in 2008.
Mitt Romney is the Republican front-runner, which should come as no surprise when you own a large chunk of the media.
How do you feel about a possible President of the US owning a media conglomerate?
How can we make people aware of media ownership by politicians, when its obvious the media won’t?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

28 Answers

dabbler's avatar

OMG I did not know that. Italy here we come.
(Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi owns a huge portion of all Italian media – and owned it before he became PM.)

marinelife's avatar

I feel worse about Mitt Romney being a Mormon and running fro president than about him owning a media conglomerate.

jaytkay's avatar

Bain is not Romney’s company. Romney left Bain Capital over a decade ago.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

@marinelife

I’m shocked. I would have never expected a bigoted comment from you like that. Would you feel the same about a Muslim or Christian?

marinelife's avatar

@chris6137 No, I would not.

pshizzle's avatar

@marinelife That is racist! @chris6137 It doesn’t bother me, nor should it bother anyone. It is better publicity for him.

marinelife's avatar

@pshizzle Religion has nothing to do with race or racism.

pshizzle's avatar

@marinelife Then it is prejudice, bigotry, religious intolerance!

Linda_Owl's avatar

It is a sad state of affairs that only the rich can afford to run for public office & the rich are keenly aware of the advantage this gives to them.

dabbler's avatar

I don’t care if he’s a Mormon or any other kind of spirit worshipper, the rich candidates’ club worries me tremendously per @Linda_Owl astute observation. Control of the media (even if he doesn’t own Clear Channel) through big bucks is a bad thing for democratic elections.

JLeslie's avatar

@marinelife Why does it matter to you that he is a Mormon? I like that he is a religious minority, and his political history shows him to not mix his religion with politics from what I can tell. Lately he is taking on the evangelical stance politically. Back in the 90’s he was pro-choice when it came to law, he ran as an independent back in the day.

gorillapaws's avatar

Anyone who meets the constitutional requirements should be able to run for president.

As for media outlets, I think there needs to be some more rules in place about meeting a threshold for calling yourself a news program or a journalist (otherwise it’s just false advertising). I mean if the dairy industry were regulated like the media companies, then we’d be drinking cat blood with “whole milk” on the label.

jaytkay's avatar

The Mormon church was actively involved in passing Proposition 8 in California, to amend the California Constitution.

It is an overtly political organization (as are many other religious groups). So opposing Mormon candidates is not necessarily religious intolerance.

From the official web site of the Church of Latter Day Saints.

“The following letter was sent from the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to Church leaders in California to be read to all congregations on 29 June 2008…

…We ask that you do all you can to support the proposed constitutional amendment by donating of your means and time to assure that marriage in California is legally defined as being between a man and a woman. Our best efforts are required to preserve the sacred institution of marriage.”

marinelife's avatar

“Mormons are very politically conservative. Six-in-ten Mormons identify as conservative, about three-in-ten (27%) say they consider themselves moderate and only one-in-ten identify as liberal. This is in stark contrast to the general population, in which roughly a third identify as conservative (37%), a third as moderate (36%) and 20% as liberal.

The summer 2007 Landscape Survey finds that an even larger share of Mormons identify as Republicans or lean toward the Republican Party than identify as conservative. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of Mormons say they identify with or lean toward the Republican party, 15 percentage points higher than among members of evangelical churches (50%) and 30 points higher than among the general population (35%).

This places Mormons to the right of all other major religious traditions on a continuum of ideology and partisanship; in fact, they are somewhat more conservative and Republican than members of evangelical Protestant churches.

The conservative political ideology of the majority of Mormons extends to their views on the size and role of government. More than half of Mormons (56%) prefer a smaller government with fewer services, Similarly, Mormons are less likely than the population overall to support the government doing more to help the needy. On the question of morality, Mormons favor a larger role for government. A majority (54%) says government should do more to protect morality.”

The Pew Forum

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
dappled_leaves's avatar

To say that “his political history shows him to not mix his religion with politics” is essentially to say that he will pander to whatever will get him more votes in a given election. But once he gains power, expect him to exert influence according to his moral beliefs. That’s why you end up with (for example) access to abortion being crushed in states which have lately elected Republicans.

JLeslie's avatar

@dappled_leaves That might be a reason not to vote for Mitt, that he seems to change his thoughts depending on what will get him elected, but that has nothing to do with his religion. What @marinelife gave as a reason means nothing in my opinion, because when I vote, I vote for the individual, not what his group typically does statistically. If I remember correctly Bill Clinton is a Baptist, but he does not politically identify or vote or think like most southern Baptists I am guessing.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@JLeslie, I wasn’t responding to @marinelife, I was responding to your comment (though I didn’t realize that until I scrolled up to see whose it was!). My own comment is not directed at a specific religion, it’s directed at Romney, although as I say, this seems to be a pattern among Republican politicians in recent years.

As to Mormonism in general… I think I’ll keep my opinions about that to myself for the moment.

JLeslie's avatar

@dappled_leaves I see. Thanks for clarifying.

_zen_'s avatar

@marinelife There are positive sides to his being a Mormon; look at the bright side – you can be in my harem – legally.

incendiary_dan's avatar

Well, it’d be nice to be up front about how Orwellian our whole situation is.

Personally, I’m more concerned about how much of a douchebag he is. Yea, not my usual scathing political commentary. I’m tired.

Nullo's avatar

Don’t see why not; they’re people too, after all.

@dappled_leaves I’m happy to say that every politician in the history of governance has acted upon his moral/religious convictions. If they don’t change, they’re demonstrating an admirable degree of consistency – far too many people have run on the religious ticket, only to drop the facade once they got the office.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@Nullo, that’s basically what I was saying. :)

phaedryx's avatar

@marinelife

Your answer seems odd to me. Generally speaking, would you prefer a Democrat who is Mormon or a Republican who is not Mormon?

an actual example of this would be: Harry Reid (Mormon Democrat) vs. Sharron Angle (Southern Baptist Republican)

marinelife's avatar

@phaedryx Harry Reid’s being a Mormon does not matter to me, because he has demonstrated his separation from the Mormon church’s thinking and positions.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

“Which should come as no surprise when you own a large chunk of the media.”

So you’re telling us he didn’t get as far as he did on his own merits.

We know better.

Nice try.

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