It’s almost Halloween and you know what that means—only 7 months until Mother’s Day!
In the news this week: It looks like Steve Mnuchin bent the U.S. treasury rules for designating opportunity zones to help out Michael Milken (long time enemy of the show) with a huge tax break. That’s bad, but “opportunity zones” are still a grift even when they’re not abused so egregiously.
(11:30) Joe introduces us to Brian Roberts, CEO of Comcast. Roberts had the extremely typical billionaire life trajectory of growing up rich, going to Wharton, then running the company his father founded for the rest of his life. We talk about Comcast’s rise to market dominance as a vertically-integrated media company. Joe tells us a little bit about cable provider infrastructure in the US and why it means that Americans have some of the worst and most expensive internet service on the planet. It’s not just an inconvenience, it’s a form of social injustice that works against social mobility. Roberts gets a 5 on the David Koch Memorial Asset Liquidation Index.
(30:35) Chad talks about Haim Saban, founder of Saban Entertainment. Saban Entertainment is most famous for Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, but Saban is responsible for a massive amount of children’s programming. We get into Saban’s business partner Shuki Levy’s amazing work in the field of television theme song composition. There’s a link below to Levy’s website, where he hosts all these songs. Saban’s shows are mainly the result of deregulation of children’s programming in the 80s that resulted in ruining the brains of a generation. It also helps us illustrate the continuous character of capitalism’s primary accumulation. Rated a 7 on the DKMALI.
We had to cut a whole section at the end about how Saban is also an extreme right-wing Zionist and was the biggest contributor to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign. There are some links below if you want to explore that dark dimension of his life.
• The Future of American Broadband is a Comcast Monopoly
• Comcast Political Donations
Haim Saban Links:
• Hollywood Reporter article where Saban talks about hating Bernie Sanders: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/features/haim-cheryl-saban-talk-power-philanthropy-israel-2020-presidential-race-1222856
• Hillary Clinton’s letter to Saban denouncing BDS (leaked to journalists by her campaign to entice pro-Israel donors): https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/2158218-hillary-clintons-letter-to-haim-saban-against-bds.html
• Haim Saban is Bad for Democracy by Alex Pareene: https://splinternews.com/haim-saban-is-bad-for-democracy-1827319779
• Haim Saban New Yorker profile: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2010/05/10/the-influencer
• Shuki Levy’s website with high quality streams of his cartoon theme songs. Hours of fun: http://shukilevy.com/themes-and-scores/