Chapter NINE

The Cyber

Toward a New Century

By the latter half of the 1990s, the decade had already become a communications anomaly. It was a decade of cyberspace and censorship, indecency and irreverence, technology and testament, dogmatism and deregulation, polarization and politics, economic bust and boom, merger and monopoly. Early in the decade, the country’s voters appeared to support a proconsumer, liberal agenda, the public seemingly ready to relive the late 1960s and early 1970s. Many observers therefore anticipated strong reregulation of the broadcasting industry when Bill Clinton was elected President in 1992, countering the Reagan-era deregulation, or “unregulation,” as a former Republican FCC chair once put it. But within a couple ...

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