Now it all becomes clear.
The major papers have all been embarrassing themselves non-stop trying to give good coverage to Obama. They have severely compromised their reputations, but it didn’t seem to matter. The only thing that mattered was praising their new lord and saviour, the magnificent Barry O.
But now we understand. The papers have all been losing money. They are going to go out of business, unless someone steps in and helps them.
Obama is now taking the first steps to rescue them. That’s why they kiss rear so much. They want Obama to come and bail them out. At first, we laughingly called them the state-run media. Now, they are becoming just that:
The nation needs a strong, independent press, the FTC argues, and so they want to find ways for government to “reinvent” journalism. If that sounds vaguely Orwellian to you, the actual language in the Federal Trade Commission’s discussion-points memo should have hairs standing on the backs of necks across the nation. It shows a wildly laughable rationale for government intervention that would prop up the failing newspaper model in a manner that would put the entire industry at the mercy of the federal bureaucracy it’s supposed to keep in check.
Can you imagine if Bush had done anything like this? Howls of “fascism!” would have filled the air. But now, the right group is in the White House, so it’s not fascism when they do it. It’s “public service” now.
In order to manufacture the case for government support of the media – and the inevitable government enslavement of that media – you knew they were going to have to make some pretty bizarre arguments. And sure enough, here they are:
There are reasons for concern that experimentation may not produce a robust and sustainable business model for commercial journalism. History in the United States shows that readers of the news have never paid anywhere close to the full cost of providing the news. Rather, journalism always has been subsidized to a large extent by, for example, the federal government, political parties, or advertising.
Huh? The federal government already subsidizes newspapers? What, you never heard of the Newspaper Support and Takeover act of 1967? Good, because there is no such thing. Newspapers don’t get federal subsidies. But they searched far and wide for any sort of government deal that could be called a subsidy, and they found one: Newspapers get special rates when mailed by the Post Office. There’s only one hitch. Almost nobody gets their paper by mail. They get it by the paperboy, who last time I looked, was not a federal employee.
The political parties subsidize the newspapers? No, that doesn’t happen either. Advertising? That’s not a subsidy, that’s a business model. Self sustaining business models are not “subsidies”.
So, these people at the FTC are lying to us again. Imagine that.
So now, they are saying that liberal newspapers are a public good.There’s just one problem with their whole bizarre theory. CBS and NBC and ABC and CNN and MSNBC and NPR are perfectly capable of delivering the news. Not to mention Fox News, that lonely bastion of high ratings and conservative ideas. They aren’t going out of business like the newspapers.
So why does the government insist on the buggy-whip of crinkly newsprint be involved in the dissemination of the news? Why aren’t electronic media adequate?
They don’t really know. All they know is that they want to make sure the government controls the flow of the news, and they are having a hell of a time doing that with talk radio and bloggers free to engage in debate.