July 25, 2014

Bill Maher reiterated a good deal of what he wrote in an op-ed for The Hollywood Reporter this week about the possibility of Rupert Murdoch taking over Time Warner during his New Rules segment on Real Time this Friday evening.

HBO's Bill Maher Imagines Rupert Murdoch as New Boss (Guest Column):

To no one’s surprise, I’m against Fox taking over Henhouse. I mean, Time Warner. And, I must admit, I never saw it coming. So many ways for a guy like me to lose his job, but I never dreamed these two would marry. I thought they were both too big. I should know by now, in American business, nothing is ever too big. Increasing size is a sickness that possesses us — every quarter must show growth. Doing well, and then repeating doing well, is never enough. We must always beat where we are.

There’s a terrible price to pay for this. (I mean besides the terrible price I personally will pay when Rupert takes over HBO and my show becomes Paste-Eating Time With Steve Doocy.) Check out the recording that went viral in July of a Comcast customer service rep arguing endlessly with a customer who wanted to cancel his service. It was like listening to a dysfunctional couple where one of them refuses to accept a breakup — "Please don’t do this … I’ll change … at least stay with me till after my sister’s wedding."

Of course, Comcast apologized and said that’s not how they train their customer reps, but that’s exactly how they, and lots of large companies that have virtual legal monopolies, train their customer reps — the airlines, the cable company, the phone company, the credit card company, the insurance company, the mortgage company. AIG was too big to fail; they’re all too big to care. The service rep isn't there to service the customer, he's there to service the shareholder. It's not about selling goods or providing a service — what do we look like, immigrants with a donut shop? Big business is about eliminating the competition and buying off the regulators so you can concentrate on the real enemy: your customers. Read on...

Media Matters has a form available where you can send a message to Time Warner's shareholders and Board of Directors here: Time Warner: Don't Sell to Rupert Murdoch


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