Capitalism run amok


I shouldn’t be forced to watch an American primary presidential debate on Periscope or rely on some hijacked feed that could be yanked from the web at anytime.

But, I will have to do this, because Comcast won’t stream this primary debate. CNN did. Fox didn’t. The debate tonight, on CNBC, can only be streamed online or in the CNBC app if you can verify your cable subscription. Comcast is the parent company of CNBC.

I’m living in Mexico for six months. I don’t have a Comcast subscription. Dammit. A free, open democracy should allow me to hear what the candidates say, without having to pay for it. This is capitalism run amok.

Comcast reported $18.7 Billion in revenue for the third quarter. It is looking at expanding into cell service. It wants to charge you more if you use a lot of data on the internet, as reported by Fortune. Here’s a short AP version:

NEW YORK (AP) — Most home Internet service providers offer unlimited data, but cable giant Comcast is moving in the opposite direction.

It’s started charging heavy Internet users extra in more parts of the country.

The reason? A small but growing number of consumers are skipping cable subscriptions and doing their TV-watching over the Internet instead. So finding a way to charge for heavier Internet use could bolster Comcast’s revenue as the ranks of its cable customers shrink.

Comcast is the same company with notorious customer service rivaled only by other communications giant conglomerates with tentacles in phones, internet, cable and more.

A quick search on Twitter of “Comcast” shows customer after customer after customer with complaints.

FullSizeRender(148)By the way, the average basic cable bill here in Tulum is around $25. How much do you pay Comcast? Or Time Warner/Charter? AT&T?

There’s not a thing consumers can do because at the end of the day – lawmakers know who butters them up.

Comcast gave millions to both sides of the political aisle, so the company clearly likes controllable incumbents. Thank God for, which follows the money. Too bad most Americans either don’t care or don’t want to think about how depressing the whole system truly is.

Media companies are going to make an obscene amount of money in 2016 because of the presidential election. These American companies can’t let me – a ‘have not’ – watch a presidential debate on a guaranteed live stream?

Nope. Nothing in it for them for me to be present. I’ll just bend over and take it. Right?

Wrong. I’ll watch on a hijacked stream on another website that is not owned by Comcast. The last time I did that in August, Fox shut down the hijacked stream and forced me to Periscope.

FullSizeRender(151)I am ready to have that happen again and jump on Periscope. Because I’m American, because I care, and because I should have access to this without giving money to a conglomerate that pays to political campaigns so that it can Make More Money and Control the Message.

There is some incredible irony to this. Giant Comcast is the parent company of NBCUnviersal, which owns and operates several television stations across the U.S. I have been contacted a few times by different people from the NBC Talent Acquisition department over the last several months since I was laid off.

FullSizeRender(147)I politely decline any discussions of possible employment and explain I’m living in a Mexican beach town, for now, and learning Spanish.

I’d rather be true to my soul – and sit on the beach, live as a poor person, and work some odd freelance job now and then instead of joining the circus as a cog in the machine.

At this point, I think it’s fair to say, I’ll probably never work again in TV news.


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