Skip to main content

Block That Analogy

Ed Markey, chairman of the House Internet & Telecommunications Subcommittee, is nothing if not a veteran phrase turner. Make that a phrase spinner, spindler, folder, and well, short of mutilater, certainly, but close.

I wanted to collect some of his best for an "Analogies Gone Wild" video, but have not gotten the time yet.

Anyway, the good chairman has outdone himself in his opening statement for the committees Oct. 31 DTV hearing. I could except it, but why deny you the full effect.

So, here it is:

"Happy Halloween.  In a little over a year, millions of American consumers will find out if the digital television transition is a trick or a treat. Will stores trick them into buying equipment they don’t need?  In February 2009 will they see their screens summarily turn as black as a Halloween cat? Will they long for their old analog signal, even with its friendly ghosting?  

Or conversely, will it be a wonderful treat?   Will it be a bagful full of digital delights - including the eye candy of a better, pristine picture, breathtaking high definition programming, or perhaps multiple streams of new services and channels?

Nothing is scarier this Halloween than the prospect of millions of consumers disillusioned and upset with a government-mandated transition that has gone awry. "

OK, I will abridge it slightly to skip the serious parts about testimony and issues and stuff.

"I want to thank the witnesses for their willingness to testify today and sincerely hope none of them begin by saying “boo!”