Thursday, September 6, 2007

Media Mafia: Cable Industry Corruption (Part Three) - Introduction to CABLEVISION

Edited by Alex Constantine

"Cablevision Systems Corporation is an American cable television company. It is the 5th largest cable provider in the USA, with most customers residing in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania. [1] Cablevision also offers high-speed Internet connections (Optimum Online), as well as digital cable (iO), and VoIP phone service (Optimum Voice) through its Optimum brand name. Furthermore, Cablevision now offers Optimum Online Wi-Fi, which is available throughout the country to existing Optimum Online customers. ... "

" ... Cablevision controls Madison Square Garden, the New York Knicks and the New York Rangers, plus Radio City Music Hall. Cablevision pulled plans to spin off its cable network unit, Rainbow Media Holdings, and closed that company's money-losing satellite TV assets. ... "
CABLEVISION IS A MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL PROPAGANDA MACHINE: JP Morgan Chase, U.S. Military Imperialism & the CableVision Board

" ... The "Independent" Film Channel (IFC), wholly owned by Cablevision, is distributing the movie in the U.S. Once a family-owned, third-rate media outlet, Cablevision has fallen into the hands of the major rulers. Two years ago, when, in order to compete, Cablevision began borrowing more than $1.5 billion from banks like JP Morgan and Citigroup, the big boys took over. In a classic case of the rulers’ exercising control through finance capital, JP Morgan Chase became the company’s financial advisor. The rulers put an ex-JP Morgan managing director, Thomas Reifenheiser, and a U.S. Navy admiral, John Ryan, on Cablevision’s board, to ensure the firm’s imperialist orientation. A major figure in the U.S. killing machine, Ryan has headed both the Sixth Fleet and the Naval Academy. The warmakers putting "Fahrenheit" on movie screens want Bush to ship out if, as it seems, he can’t shape up. ... "

ADVERTISEMENT ALONG WITH CHRISTIAN IDENTITY PREACHER: "Uncensored Truth" began airing on TCI Cablevision Channel 10 on July 1 with a show in which Kirk Lyons defended himself and referred to his detractors as "insidious insects". Later shows included 'sermons' by Rev. Pete Peters of the Christian Identity church. That church, to which Lyons' in-laws belonged in Idaho, preaches that people of color belong to sub-human "mud races", that Jews are "Satan's spawn", and that Anglo-Saxons are the Bible's real covenant people.

According to the Coalition For Human Dignity, Peters' book, The Death Penalty for Homosexuals Is Prescribed In The Bible, advocates the systematic murder of gay and lesbian people. "Uncensored Truth" is being aired Saturdays at 11:30 am on the channel that was set aside in Asheville's 1967 cable charter as being free-of-charge for "the exclusive use" of the Asheville City School System. The school system only uses a few hours each week allowing TCI Cablevision to operate the remaining hours on a "local origination" commercial basis with income going to TCI Cablevision. According to the charter, the channel is supposed "to carry only educational information about the schools and programs of an educational nature..."

School officials indicate that the school board has voluntarily relinquished programming decisions to TCI Cablevision. According to TCI Cablevision, "Isrealite(sic) Productions", producers of "Uncensored Truth" pay $100 per week for air time and another $100 plus for production work, mainly editing Peters' talks. Ads for "Uncensored Truth" featuring Lyons and Peters appeared in local newspapers and on a billboard on US Highway 19/23 west of Asheville.
Another Cablevision Investment in the Far-Right

... Most of the programming on Channel 84 ... is from that creepy, ultra right-wing, gay-bashing, Christian fundamentalist media empire, Focus On the Family. Shame on Cablevision for giving them this kind of exposure on the tube. True, FOF has the right of free speech, even when they preach their gospel of hate, but, then, so does the KKK. (FOF is run by Dr. James Dobson. You’ll recall that he’s the one who put the squeeze on Spongebob Squarepants for “promoting homosexuality.”)
US Cable Channel Whitewashes the CIA

Into the Shadows: The CIA in Hollywood, written, produced and directed by Charles C. Stuart

By Joanne Laurier
12 December 2001

The US cable television channel American Movie Classics (AMC), devoted to broadcasting Hollywood films of the past, aired its own special on December 4. Into the Shadows: The CIA in Hollywood is as revealing for what it omits as what it presents. From its title and the breathless quality of the narration, the viewer might have reasonably expected an exposé of the filthy deeds of the spy outfit and its connections to the American film industry. Instead, however, the show, with its pseudo- film noir veneer, essentially depicts the CIA as a life-saving, humanitarian entity. The program amounts to little more than a propaganda piece to improve the agency’s image at a time when it is playing a central role in the US war drive.

Indeed the show might rightfully be considered an element in one of the agency’s own “disinformation” campaigns.

Against a background of “suspenseful” music, the narration, read by prominent liberal Democrat actor Alec Baldwin, initially tantalizes by suggesting that the CIA has involved the entertainment industry in clandestine and sometimes “sordid” operations. The tone then quickly shifts and becomes sycophantic toward one of the world’s most hated and discredited organizations.

The program is more or less given over to Tony Mendez, introduced as the former CIA chief of disguise. Needing some Mission Impossible -style help in the 1960s, Mendez approached Disney Studios, founded by right-winger Walt Disney, and enlisted the help of an award-winning makeup specialist, John Chambers. Chambers’ skills were used to put together “disguise kits” with which CIA operatives went into the field. A company that Chambers later formed with fellow makeup expert Tom Burman was called upon to design masks, concoct fake personas and phony companies for CIA missions in Laos, Poland, the USSR and Iran.

The show provides only two or three examples of these missions. In one case Hollywood talent was used to effect the 1979 escape from Iran of six American diplomats. The latter had taken refuge in the Canadian embassy during the student takeover of the US embassy following the overthrow of the shah. Every detail of this rather trivial enterprise is discussed. No mention is made, of course, of the bloody repression carried out by the secret police, the notorious SAVAK, which the CIA helped set up and train, under the shah’s regime.

In order to appease the angry Iranian populace and perhaps win the release of the American hostages held by the students, thought was also given at the time to a scheme to fake the death of the shah, who was in the US undergoing cancer treatment. An individual was hired and work was done to prepare him to impersonate the shah. The “fake shah caper” came to naught, but the tale was told to highlight the “extraordinary work” of the CIA. The other story concerns the production of masks for a black CIA operative in Laos during the Vietnam War so that he could pass through checkpoints undetected.

This is all very sanitized and unreal. The program fails to answer the obvious question: how often were Hollywood talents put to use in the course of assassination plots, the overthrowing of governments and mass killings?
In fact, Mendez explains that his hope is that the program will counteract Hollywood’s too-often portrayal of “the CIA as the bad guy, and give a more balanced view of what spies do; that they are not the dregs of humanity.” In the not-so-distant past, it would have been unthinkable for film industry technicians and artists to openly acknowledge collaboration with these “dregs of humanity.” The agency’s crimes in Iran, Chile, Central America, Vietnam and elsewhere were too well known. It is not the CIA and its assets who have changed, but the liberal and media establishment, which now chooses to portray Mendez and the others as “unsung heroes.”

In the second portion of Into the Shadows, entitled Hollywood Goes to War—referring to the present conflict in Afghanistan —the program’s makers interview figures such as Michael Bay, director of Pearl Harbor, and Steven E. de Souza, scriptwriter for Die Hard. In the light of current efforts to enlist Hollywood’s support for the new war drive, the show’s producers apparently want to make clear that there is a precedent for such government use of the entertainment industry.

In a cursory review of the postwar period, the program notes that President Eisenhower set up a department of “psychological warfare” which availed itself of the talents of screenwriter Howard Hunt, among others, who was later to become a Watergate burglar. It also reveals, significantly, that an unnamed CIA mole was charged with changing Hollywood scripts during the 1950s and removing any portrayals of Americans as “racist, drunk or trigger-happy”! This is passed over rather quickly. In other words, at the same time as the US government was denouncing the Soviet Stalinist state-run “propaganda” machinery, it was employing spies to monitor and alter the content of American films. (This was necessary to finish whatever was left undone by the blacklist and the anticommunist witch-hunt.)

In regard to the present situation, the program glowingly explains how Hollywood technology is used to aid the US war effort. Like a scene out of Wag the Dog, we are shown a soldier being trained with virtual reality technology at the Institute for Creative Technologies near Los Angeles. The show also makes reference to the two meetings between Hollywood executives and representatives from the Bush administration in October and November [See: Hollywood enlists Bush’s war drive]. De Souza (Die Hard) talks about the government “brainstorming with Hollywood about future terrorist threats.” There is consensus among the talking heads on the need to “balance patriotism and creativity and still make blockbusters.”

Into the Shadows unwittingly reveals the astonishingly low level of principle and morality that dominates the Hollywood scene. Fittingly, all the “artists” interviewed for the program were creators of dreadful films—Pearl Harbor, Independence Day, Die Hard, Armageddon, The Patriot. In summing up, Jonathan Hensleigh, screenwriter for Armageddon, explained his reason for altering a recent script that “showed the CIA as bad guys. My first instinct was not patriotism. I thought the script was in trouble commercially, that [Disney chief Michael] Eisner would not produce it.”

According to the AMC special the question that keeps the “patriotic” studio executives, screenwriters and directors awake at night, following September 11, is: “how can Hollywood embrace the new spirit of America and still succeed at the box office?” Director Ridley Scott’s soon-to-be-released Black Hawk Down about the US incursion into Somalia, a “humanitarian mission” in which thousands of Somalis died, received mention, presumably as a test of the new formula. The concerns in Hollywood, in their own way, have a certain legitimacy. It remains to be seen whether there will be serious popular interest in jingoistic, warmongering films.

Movies Directed by Charles C. Stuart
Source: IMDB

Abstinence Comes to Albuquerque (2006) (TV)

"The New Heroes" (4 episodes, 2005)
- Dreams of Sanctuary (2005) TV Episode
- Power of Enterprise (2005) TV Episode
- Technology of Freedom (2005) TV Episode
- The Power of Knowledge (2005) TV Episode

Hollywood and the Muslim World (2003) (TV)

Into the Shadows: The CIA in Hollywood (2001) (TV)

Robert F. Kennedy: A Memoir (1998) (TV)

Beyond T-Rex (1997) (TV)

"Frontline" (1 episode, 1992)
- JFK, Hoffa and the Mob (1992) TV Episode

My Mother's Murder (1992) (TV)

Cablevision is a top contributor to Hillary Clinton

Cablevision ........ $106,850,M1

John McCain in Cablevision's Pocket, too

" ... Some months back, when Cablevision sought approval for a pricing change from the Senate Commerce Committee, then chaired by McCain, the company developed a sudden interest in campaign-finance reform and gave the Reform Institute a $200,000 “soft” donation. Looks fishy, no? ... "

March 9, 2005 by Doug Ireland
John McCain, Hypocrite
by Doug Ireland

John McCain, the media's darling, has found a clever way around his own campaign finance reform law to take big corporate bucks in furtherance of his political ambitions while carrying water for the corporate mammoth providing the dough. But the national press is ignoring the story.

The Associated Press first ran the story of John McCain's odorous but lucrative Senatorial service to the communications giant Cablevision on the afternoon of March 7. But, while some local papers in McCain's home state (like the East Valley Tribune) have run the story, nothing has as yet made it into the print editions of the New York Times, the L.A. Times, the Washington Post, or any of the half-dozen other big city dailies I checked (although, if one searches the hundreds of AP stories available on the Post's website on its Politics page by clicking on "Latest Wire Reports," one can find it there--but how many readers would bother to do that?) One notable exception: the Kansas City Star.

Here's what the AP's investigation found:

McCain repeatedly intervened on behalf of a policy Cablevision favored -- one which "congressional and private studies conclude could make cable more expensive" -- while his chief political adviser, Rick Davis (who's masterminding McCain's probable '08 presidential rerun) solicited $200,000 in contributions from Cablevision to an institute that promotes McCain and pays Davis a $110,000 annual salary.

The Reform Institute was set up to promote McCain and his issues--especially campaign finance reform, embodied in the famous McCain-Feingold law. This Institute is "a tax-exempt group that touts McCain's views and has showcased him at events since his unsuccessful 2000 presidential campaign," and it "often uses the senator's name in press releases and fund-raising letters and includes him at press conferences," the AP says. And, of course, it provides a cushy sinecure with no heavy lifting for McCain's main man, Davis, as he prepares the pontificating Senator's next presidential run. Cablevision's contributions account for a whopping 15% of the Institute's budget.

Now, let's be clear about the phony McCain-Feingold law, which I denounced as "campaign deform" before its passage. The myth is that McCain-Feingold abolished so-called soft money in politics. That's nonsense. It does forbid the national party committees (the RNC and the DNC) from taking soft money--but it leaves a loophole large enough to drive an invading army through, because soft money contributions to state parties are still legal. And, as anyone who closely followed the investigations of the 1996 campaign finance scandals knows, some of the most screamingly unethical influence peddling-and-buying then went on when, to conceal the contributions from a lazy national press corps, millions and millions of dollars in soft money were channeled to state parties by corporate fat-cats seeking to influence government policy and Congressional votes.

Moreover, McCain-Feingold put more corrupting hard money than ever before into the '04 presidential election by doubling the cap on hard money. This provision of McCain-Feingold motored the mushrooming of the practice known as "bundling," by which special interest influence-seekers -- like the lawyer-lobbyists of D.C.'s "Gucci Gulch" and their corporate clients -- get a large number of cronies to max out under the raised McCain-Feingold caps, the individual checks thus collected totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars. Thanks in part to McCain-Feingold, then, the '04 presidential cycle was the most expensive ever in the nation's history. McCain-Feingold was, and is, a fraud.

Why did McCain, a standard-issue Republican conservative, lead the charge for the campaign "deform" law that bears his name? Why, because he got caught with his hand in the cookie jar. McCain was one of the infamous Keating 5, the band of Senators--greedy for campaign cash--who sold their favors to jailed Savings and Loan kingpin and junk-bond racketeer Charles Keating in the S&L scandals that rocked Congress in the early '90s. (The S&L scandals were the most expensive corporate fraud in history, costing citizens and taxpayers some $600 billion. There is a pile of good books on the S&L Scandals, especially those by Steve Pizzo--who helped break the story; Pete Brewton; and Martin Mayer.) McCain was whitewashed by a complicitous Senate "ethics" committee, after which the Arizona Senator decided to refurbish his image and become a so-called "reformer"--hence the fraudulent McCain-Feingold bill, which was designed to make people forget his boot-licking service to Keating.

Now, McCain is back at the same old game, this time on behalf of Cablevision and its campaign for an "a la carte" provision, which would allow cable customers to pick the channels they want rather than buy packages of channels. McCain has continued to campaign for this provision even after the independent General Accounting Office -- in a study requested by McCain himself -- concluded that the a la carte provision would considerably raise cable rates for consumers. This is a neat hat trick by McCain: he adds another "reformist" feather to his cap by promoting a populist-sounding measure which, in fact, benefits industry and costs the consumer a packet. And, at the same time he takes money from Cablevision in the form of contributions to a pet group of the Senator's which furthers McCain's presidential ambitions.

The AP investigation found that McCain's assiduous services to Cablevision included "letting its CEO testify before his Senate committee, writing a letter of support to the Federal Communication Commission, and asking other cable companies to support so-called a la carte pricing." Davis solicited the first of two $100,00 installments Cablevision paid to McCain's pet Institute just "one week after [the conglomerate's chief, Charles] Dolan testified before McCain's Senate Commerce Committee in May 2003 in favor of a la carte pricing. And it wasn't until after Cablevision paid up that McCain intervened on behalf of the policy the company sought with the FCC.

There's a lot more detail, but you get the picture. You can read the entire AP story about its investigation of McCain by clicking here.

Just as the media bought McCain's cosmetic makeover when he became a "reformer" -- while its kissy coverage of McCain in 2000 turned the Arizonan into a major national figure, thanks to a fit of collective amnesia -- our leading organs of information are now turning a blind eye to the AP's revelation that McCain is an unethical recidivist who is once again mired in a putrid conflict of interest scandal with a major corporate player. Most of the Inside-the-Beltway press corps seems not to care about this latest McCain chicanery--so you are kept in the dark about it. A free press is a great thing, isn't it?
The Candidate

I Date This From 1994

Dan Glickman, Democrat from the 4th District in Kansas, sponsored a Bill to continue the expiring regulation of the Cable Industry in the same way as it had been regulated from its inception. Cablevision (the franchisee in Wichita & its suburbs, where 95% of the population of the 4th District lives) decided to fight Rep. Glickman in the most direct way possible, both running anti-Glickman ads of their own & by providing free ads to Todd Tiahart, an extreme right-wing anti-choice Republican. Cablevision was fined by the FCC, of course, but not until after Todd Tiahart had been elected. He then, of course, joined with the Gingrich Gang in de-regulating the Cable Industry.

I know only about the case of Dan Glickman, having experienced it first hand. I wonder how many other victims of Gringrich's "Contract On America" suffered similarly at the hands of the Cable Industry. ...

DAN GLICKMAN & the Motion Picture Association of America

Daniel Robert "Dan" Glickman (born November 24, 1944) is an American politician. He served as the United States Secretary of Agriculture from 1995 until 2001, prior to which he represented the Fourth Congressional District of Kansas as a Democrat in Congress for 18 years. He is currently the president of the Motion Picture Association of America.

All Movie Channel. aMC is owned by Rainbow Media Holdings, LLC, a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation, and signed on October 1, 1984. ... aMC officially became available in Canada for cable customers of Shaw Cable and satellite customers of StarChoice on September 1, 2006, marking the first time the network was made available outside of the United States. Rogers Cable followed suit on December 12, 2006.
Annals of Incentive Pay

In this case, an obvious incentive to rise from the dead:

In a regulatory filing made Thursday, Cablevision disclosed that it had granted options to an executive after his death, but improperly recorded the date of the grant to an earlier time when the executive was still alive.

Cablevision didn't identify the executive but The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the situation, said the options were given to Vice Chairman Marc Lustgarten, who died in 1999. The Journal said Lustgarten's estate was entitled to exercise the options upon his death.

I challenge the laissez-faire business blawgosphere: defend this compensation practice!
Cablevision Backs Spending Amendment

Cablevision Gives $500,000 To Budget Amendment Effort: WNBC
The Dolan family should find a new hobby.

Records on file with the state Board of Elections on Wednesday showed Cablevision subsidiary CSC Holdings gave the huge contribution late last week to Budget Reform Now! The group is financing an effort to have New Yorkers approve Proposition 1 on the Nov. 8 ballot, a state constitutional amendment that would shift state budget-making power to the Legislature at the governor's expense.
Cablevision must need a law passed in Albany.

It's not budget reform.

Perhaps New York's voters will resist being conned over the next six days. I'm skeptical. Frankly, I don't believe the taxpayers of New York fully fully grasp what's ahead. If they did, people would be rioting.

Next year, people will be rioting.

We're edging closer to a statewide tax revolt.
A Fictional Exposé of Cablevision and the Industry

Cable Land Confidential

SEPTEMBER 10, 2007

The first thing you need to know about the novel New Bedlam is that its author, Bill Flanagan, travels the world as a top executive for MTV Networks and is also the monotone-voiced music commentator on CBS (CBS ) News Sunday Morning. Both are pretty sweet gigs. The second thing you need to know is that Flanagan apparently doesn't really care about that. For he has written a biting and hilarious satire of the pressure-filled TV business, with a bevy of rich characters—eccentric, egotistical, and some practically insane—whose real-life counterparts must surely have inspired Flanagan to spoof the industry that feeds him.

The star of New Bedlam is Bobby Kahn, a hard-charging programming executive for a major broadcast network. Kahn made his career by spotting a daytime game show called I'll Eat Anything! and putting it in prime time. It became a summer-replacement phenomenon and cemented Kahn's reputation as a genius. "The more pundits howled about a new low in America's public discourse, the bigger the ratings grew," writes Flanagan.

But Kahn, we learn in the first pages, is now being canned as the fall guy in a reality-show scandal. He rushes to save face before the network publicly announces his departure. Hoping to land a job that will look as if he dictated the terms—a business turnaround in fast-growing cable, perhaps—Kahn finds his way to New Bedlam, a fictional town in Flanagan's native Rhode Island. His new employer: King Cable, a bit player with franchises in several New England states. Kahn is hired to bring new life to King's three fledgling channels, each of which is supervised by a different offspring of cable patriarch Dominic King. A malicious curmudgeon (after sleeping with a rival's wife who later reunites with her husband, he "wished he'd had gonorrhea so he could have passed it along to them"), Dom made a fortune running garages, used-car dealerships, and car washes throughout New England before he began buying up local cable franchises at the dawn of subscription TV. As Flanagan takes the reader deep into Dom's stubborn mind, you can't help but think how much the character's ambitions mirror those of real-life media moguls, including Flanagan's own boss, Sumner Redstone, the octogenarian chairman of MTV parent Viacom (VIA ), who was running movie theaters before getting into cable TV. There's also a resemblance to other cable patriarchs, including Chuck Dolan of Cablevision (CVC ) (is his son Jimmy the model for Dom's contentious son Kenny?), John Rigas, formerly of Adelphia (he ran his business from the New Bedlamesque backwater of Coudersport, Pa.), and Comcast (CMCSA ) founder Ralph Roberts (he was selling belts and suspenders when he bought his first cable franchise in the early 1960s).

The three King channels that Kahn must fix include Eureka, which strives way too hard to be a high-minded arts channel; BoomerBox, a sitcom rerun channel; and the Comic Book Channel, which is fixated on superheroes. The scenes involving Eureka offer some of New Bedlam's biggest guffaws.

At one point, Kahn learns that Eureka has aired a show about old curtains in Sunday prime time. He calls a meeting and lambastes the channel's staff: "Well, all my time in television that is the first prime time show on any channel I have ever seen achieve a total zero. Not a rounded zero. Not zero point zero two four. I chased this down. Tapestries: A History of Old Curtains achieved the rarely seen perfect box of eggs—zero point zero zero zero. If anybody left their TV on to keep the cat company and that thing came on, the cat got up and changed the channel."

Tapestries is just the first of many surprises awaiting Kahn as he tries to navigate family politics and the subtle and not-so-subtle goings-on at King Cable. (One King employee passes gas in meetings as a form of passive-aggressive protest.) Not unlike the frenetic pace of a TV executive trying to stay competitive, New Bedlam is a quick read composed of short, lively chapters. That may have something to do with Flanagan's having written the book at airports and hotels while on the fly for his TV day job.

Lots of New Bedlam's material is insidey, but you don't have to be a Variety subscriber to be drawn in. Fun interludes include quirky characters who hatch schemes to steal old Indian bones, clean out the family's scummy pond with bacteria-eating carp, and attempt to drown a raccoon that had been eating Kenny King's precious comic book collection. And who knows? Flanagan's jab at his own business could even boost his career. Maybe some hotshot programmer in the mold of Bobby Kahn will read New Bedlam and see it as a weekly TV show—on cable, of course.

THE MEDIA BUSINESS; Merger of Law Shows Seen

"Time Warner Inc. and the Cablevision Systems Corporation are preparing to merge their planned cable channels dealing with the legal profession, people close to both companies said yesterday, Time Warner has been planning to start a service in 1991 tentatively called The Legal Channel. It is to be run by Steven Brill, founder of The American Lawyer, the magazine in which Time Warner bought a stake last year. The service would cover trials in the 44 states in which television cameras are permitted. ... "


Liberty Media Inc. is planning to create a national sports network together with NBC and the Cablevision Systems Corporation. The three companies announced plans yesterday for the creation of Prime Sports Channel Networks. If the network appeals to audiences, it could present an alternative to ESPN, the sports network that is owned by Capital Cities/ABC Inc. January 7, 1993 NEWS


March 25, 2005

How much is that tax subsidy in the window? There's nothing like cash: anonymous, a little grimy, but everyone takes it, and doesn't ask questions. Except for Mr. Clean Hands, Mike Bloomberg, who is still turning up his nose at the cold, hard green that Cablevision plunked down.

Those Cablevision folks are playing this one like Karl Rove. I foolishy predicted that they would be braying all over town if they topped the Jets. Turns out, they didn't and they did, offering the truly staggering sum of $760 million, cash, to tell the Jets to get stuffed. Their offer is noncontingent, meaning that if they never get around to building anything, the MTA keeps the scratch.

The cash is still a gross number, and includes the cost of building the platform over the rail yards, so it's likely that Cablevision would deliver about $450 million upfront, which, by someone's calculation, is the value of their near-monopoly of sports and large-arena events in the city.

Given how much they have dragged their heels on renovating the Garden, this is likely one of those Enron moments, where a craven decision to dump cash now (that may be less than the costs of renovations and lost opportunity dollars for displaced events during the renovation period) in most expeditious way to protect the monopoly and its likely extraordinary margins. Plus there's that $12 million a year in tax breaks.

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