Years ago, when I first heard about the government mandated shift to high definition, my first thought was "Yeah, right. This is going to be an exercise in permanent postponement" Shockingly, I have been correct in this assessment. Yet again, the mandatory transition from analog to digital television broadcasting has been postponed, from February 17 to June 12, 2009.
The part of this whole ordeal that is surprising is how little Media attention this has garnered over the past months.
- Why haven't there been complaints regarding the vast government sponsorship of the electronics industry? In particular the companies manufacturing these converter boxes?
- Where is the social commentary? The poor and the elderly are clearly impacted by this transition. Heck, I imagine that some people don't even know it is going to happen, honestly, and they'll just be very surprised one day when their TV stops working
- Have I somehow missed the environmental uproar? Given that most affluent consumers are simply going to trash their old TVs -- for no other reason than this mandated change -- and get new ones? And thousands of perfectly good TVs are going to end up in our dumps?
- Is there not one investigative journalist who thought it would be interesting to compare the lobbying effort that helped to pass this mandate with the combined forces that made marijuana illegal (thus boosting the tobacco, cotton, and wood pulp industries in the process) and the Great American Streetcar scandal (where established urban streetcar systems were dismantled by the american automotive industry, in order to sell more automobiles. )
But now that the Campaign is over, and Obamessiah is in office, and the Pitts aren't quite ready to have another baby, we are finally starting to see a few stories on this topic. Will the transition ever happen? Maybe. Personally, I've got my coupons in hand and I'll be going to get my boxes, soon. Do I need the coupons? No. Can I pay for the boxes myself? Of course I can, just like most folks who have requested these coupons. But I guess this topic isn't interesting to reporters, either. Oh look ... is that Britney over there? Quick! There's news to be told!