Learning from the top down: Part one
By Michael Moriarty
Is there really any other news network? No.
The founder and creator of CNN, and largest single landowner in the United States, Ted Turner has only one competitor among the giant, proven monopolists, and that is Bill Gates of Microsoft. Between Bill Gates and Ted Turner we survey a multi-split-screen, information extravaganza … one replete with the hidden mysteries of Gatesian quantum theory and Turneresque quavering atheism.
Ironically, a third genius comes to mind when one even attempts to contemplate the heady worlds of Turner and Gates … and that, of course, is Marshall McLuhan.
If the "medium is the message", then what must one make out of the two messages sent us by Turner and Gates, the Mr. Television News and the Mr. Computer?
CNN's 24 hour coverage of the 2008 election and the relative silence of Microsoft … if you combine the two personalities of Turner and Gates, you have CNN style and Microsoft content … and the common denominator between both of them is the quest for and consolidation of world power … through increasing influence. Microsoft's recent grab for Yahoo – the equivalent would be a CNN bid to buy out at least two of the three major American television networks – which so far has been turned down. Is Washington, D. C., casting even the most lightly jaundiced eye at the monopolistic implications of the largest computer software provider merging with one of the largest computer networks? No. When President William Clinton refused to use the anti-trust saber he was rattling at Bill Gates' Microsoft we learned that what is good for business is always good for Bill Clinton.
The least one can be certain of is that Bill Gates is restless these days. He's out testifying before Congress to expand his pool of cheap labor from India and China, while throwing an unsolicited buy-out offer to Yahoo.
Yes, "the Gates" has been restless this year!
I think he, like many people, had been anticipating a collapse of the American economy for some time and that incipient tragedy he is spinning to his own, best advantage.
"All is fair in love and Wall Street."
Meanwhile, "The Ted", lying back in what would appear to be at least semi-retirement, is building a Bison Burger chain and untypically giving large donations to Christian organizations. He is no longer quite the atheist he was.
This business of monopoly-watching can be a "cool" way to learn about something that never interested me: economics. I call it learning from the top down.
For example, Gates, who has announced his eventual retirement, is still very restless and must always be examined if you want to know where the Other Bill is headed. Their two empires, Microsoft and the Clinton Global Initiative are now rather symbiotic. I am not saying that Gates is a F.O.B. or Friend of Bill. However, they are both fanatically addicted Friends of Power and Influence … F. O. P. I.'s.
This is where Friedrich Nietzsche, like Marshall McLuhan, must also make an appearance. His Will to Power certainly applies … and both Turner and Gates fulfill Nietzsche's certainty that all any of us is seeking is power.
This eclectic romp through a few corners in the halls of power is just the beginning. Its relation to the 2008 election will grow more "self-evident" as the eventual "winner" … or rather who ends up being President as versus who has been elected President … as this historical fact-to-be is discovered.
Tune in next week to Part Two, and my belief that if the "Two Bills" and "The Ted" would support Hillary Clinton, George Soros' candidate, Barack Obama, wouldn't have a chance, even though Obama is the most charismatic of all three candidates and leads in both the popular and delegate vote.
Michael Moriarty is a Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actor who starred in the landmark television series Law and Order from 1990 to 1994. His recent film and TV credits include The Yellow Wallpaper, 12 Hours to Live, Santa Baby and Deadly Skies. Moriarty is also running for President of the United States in 2008 as a candidate for the Realists Party. To find out more about Moriarty's presidential campaign, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.