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FCC poised to approve Comcast takeover of NBC-Universal after new conditions

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The head of the Federal Communications Commission proposed regulatory conditions Thursday to ensure that cable giant Comcast Corp. cannot stifle video competition once it takes control of NBC Universal.

The conditions are intended to guarantee that satellite companies, phone companies and other traditional subscription television services can still get access to marquee NBC programming once the transaction closes. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski also wants to ensure that new Internet video distributors can get the programming they need to grow and compete.

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FCC officials, however, wouldn’t disclose the specific conditions Thursday as fellow commissioners consider whether to back Genachowski’s proposal. The chairman needs the support of at least two of them to get the plan passed. He is likely to modify parts of his proposal to win the backing he needs.

Comcast is seeking government approval to buy a 51 percent stake in NBC Universal from General Electric Co. for $13.8 billion in cash and assets. The deal would create a media powerhouse that both produces and distributes content.

The deal is also still awaiting approval by the Justice Department, which will attach its own conditions. Those are likely to be similar to the final conditions imposed by the FCC.

Approval with conditions is expected early next year.

The combination would give the nation’s largest cable TV company control over the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks; 26 local TV stations; popular cable channels including CNBC, Bravo and Oxygen; the Universal Pictures movie studio and theme parks; and a stake in Hulu.com, which distributes NBC and other broadcast programming online.

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Comcast already owns a handful of cable channels, including E! Entertainment, Versus and the Golf Channel. It also has a controlling interest in the Philadelphia 76ers and Flyers, and its SportsNet Philadelphia channel carries Flyers, Phillies and Sixers games.

But for the most part, Comcast has built its business on distributing video programming and providing Internet connections. The company has about 23 million video subscribers and nearly 17 million broadband subscribers. Taking over NBC Universal would transform it into a media giant too — giving Comcast control over major box office releases and a wide range of popular television programming.

Comcast is contributing assets worth $7.25 billion to NBC Universal and paying General Electric Co. $6.5 billion in cash for the majority stake.

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‘Comparing yourself to terrorists?’ Internet cracks up at Trump saying dead 9-11 hijackers got more justice than him

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President Donald Trump quoted Fox News host Mark Levin that left many scratching their heads. Levin, who has a show on Sunday evenings, claimed that the terrorists from Sept. 11 got more due process than the president.

The claim was a curious one because, as many on Twitter noted, it's not often that the president of the United States compares himself to a terrorist. Secondly, the 9-11 hijackers all died in the attack, as they were on the planes that crashed into the buildings and into a Pennsylvania field.

Trump is known to quote Levin frequently, though the citations often make the president look worse.

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If people of color showed up to a Capitol protest heavily armed — Trump would call them terrorists: commentator

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Legal analyst Areva Martin explained in a CNN panel discussion Sunday that the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday has historically been a day in which white supremacists rear their ugly heads with racist protests and other public displays of bigotry. Monday's expected rally of racist gun nuts expected at the Virginia capitol is no different.

Colorblind author Tim Wise said that it's a whole different level with pro-gun activists. He noted that there was a message from the NRA that former President Barack Obama was going to take everyone's guns away. Of course, that never happened, but it was part of the narrative to scare sensible gun owners. Now, President Donald Trump is employing the same idea, saying that the rally of racists in Virginia is being spun by the president as another Democratic power-grab. Wise called it a kind of "front-lash" instead of "backlash."

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Farmers refuse to cheer for Trump as he lies that he’s fighting for them to keep their land

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President Donald Trump appeared in Texas Sunday to speak to the Farm Bureau conference. Among the things he promised was that he was fighting for them to have their water rights and rights to control their own land usage.

As one viewer noted, there was noticeable silence when Trump mentioned land usage. It could be due to the fact that Trump is suing in court to take the land of farmers and ranches so he can build his border wall. For some, the land has been in their family since the founding of the state of Texas.

https://twitter.com/TheClearCider/status/1219050816084029442

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