Thursday, January 01, 2009

The Latest Candidate For Bailouts...Left-Biased Newspapers!

The dinosaur media apparently has a new mantra: so what if people won't read our biased garbage and don't trust us anymore? Let's just all become the BBC and make the rubes pay whether they like it or not:

Connecticut lawmaker Frank Nicastro sees saving the local newspaper as his duty. But others think he and his colleagues are setting a worrisome precedent for government involvement in the U.S. press.

Nicastro represents Connecticut's 79th assembly district, which includes Bristol, a city of about 61,000 people outside Hartford, the state capital. Its paper, The Bristol Press, may fold within days, along with The Herald in nearby New Britain.

That is because publisher Journal Register, in danger of being crushed under hundreds of millions of dollars of debt, says it cannot afford to keep them open anymore.

Nicastro and fellow legislators want the papers to survive, and petitioned the state government to do something about it. "The media is a vitally important part of America," he said, particularly local papers that cover news ignored by big papers and television and radio stations.

To some experts, that sounds like a bailout, a word that resurfaced this year after the U.S. government agreed to give hundreds of billions of dollars to the automobile and financial sectors.

Relying on government help raises ethical questions for the press, whose traditional role has been to operate free from government influence as it tries to hold politicians accountable to the people who elected them. Even some publishers desperate for help are wary of this route.

Providing government support can muddy that mission, said Paul Janensch, a journalism professor at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, and a former reporter and editor.

"You can't expect a watchdog to bite the hand that feeds it," he said.

Note that the article picks a teensy weensy paper in Connecticutt to showcase as a beleagured Watchdog for the Public - and ignores what a precedent here could mean for Leftist icons like Pravda on the Hudson ( AKA the NY Times), The Baltimore Sun,Chicago Trib, Miami Herald and the LA Times.

You know, the same people who did such a sterling and unbiased job in the last election cycle.

In case you think I'm exagerating,check out James Patterico's annual review of the Los Angeles Times more blantant examples of bias and shoddy journalism and prepare to be astounded at how bad this major metropolitan newspaper actually is. And the Times probably isn't even the worst of the lot.

Maybe the Alphabet networks can get in on some of the loot as well.

It makes political sense that the Obama Administration would toss some of your tax money at the people who were largely responsible for helping him get elected. And just imagine if they can kill off the blogswith internet regulation and gut talk radio with a revised 'fairness' doctrine or local content'll be just like the old days again, where the Left has a monopoly on what becomes news and how it's reported.

The proverbial fly in the soup is that having been exposed now to a free press, people are no longer going to settle for some subsidized government lapdogs. And when a society can't trust the press,they end up not trusting the regime and a lot of other institutions in society...and it becomes very easy to become disillusioned with this democracy stuff.

The next step along the path is that people start looking for a guy on a white horse with a lot of easy answers who will Fix Things Just Fine. After all, if political liberty is a joke, why bother with the semblance of it when you can have efficiency and order, hmmm?

Think about it.


Anonymous said...

Why are you dragging the Chicago Trib into your list? Other than Obama, they have never endorsed a Dem presidential candidate. They endorsed Horace Greeley, the Liberal Republican, in 1872 (versus the corrupt Grant of the Reps), & they foolishly endorsed T Roosevelt, the Bull Moose (with the accent on the Bull) candidate in 1912 (thereby allowing the racist Wilson, the Dem, into office). Otherwise, they have endorsed Republicans & Whigs only for the Pres. That's hardly the standard gauge for the Left. Their courage in standing up to the Ill Gov, a Dem, resulted in their being the victim of a failed extortion plan wherein the sale of the Chicago Cubs & Wrigley Field was derailed because the parent company adamantly refused to fire the paper's editorial board. (The paper's parent company engaged in an ill-advised acquisition spree in the 1990s & ca 2000. The resulting debt-load of the parent company is the Trib's real problem.) I haven't the foggiest notion in the world where you are situated, but I'm going to take a wild guess that you are either in the NE Coast corridor (sc, Boston, New York, Washington, DC,) or California. I think I'm perfectly safe in guessing that you are not residing in 'Fly-over Land' ! Trust me, it shows sometimes. Anyway, Happy New Year !

Anonymous said...

You raised some amazing points, FF. If we can bail out big car and financial companies, why not the big newspapers?

As you know, I'm not exactly a hard-line conservative, but even I don't understand how these billion dollar giveaways are going to change anything. Are the companies in question going to magickly start making products that consumers will want? Will they change their production methods to become more cost-efficient? Will they stop the flow of bonuses to CEOs who probably don't deserve them? Granted, I haven't been paying much attention to the news lately (only reading your blog whenever I get a chance to), so maybe I missed out on the debate...but I somehow get the idea that there wasn't one.

I loved your "pravda on the hudson" line...brilliant *chuckles*

Freedom Fighter said...

Hello Anonymous 10:08...Likewise Happy New year and thanks for dropping by.

Y'know, I actually follow the Trib relatively closely, and it seems to me they were just a mite enthusiastic in shilling for Obama and fairly good at not vetting him over some of the more questionable items about him..but that COULD be just my impression.

I agree that they're hardly the worst offender in that regard.

FYI, I'm on the Left Coast( a native), the home of undoubtedly one of the biggest jokes in 'journalism' around. But the last time I checked, wasn't the LA Times owned by the Trib? Ah, well..

Oh, one more thing...having been fortunate enough to see most of this incredible country, (including your home town)I prefer the term Heartland to 'flyover country' and have a real disdain for people who espouse that attitude - as you'll find out if you become a regular member of Joshua's Army.

Thanks again for dropping by.

All Best in `09,

Freedom Fighter said...

Hi Nazar...Happy New Year!

Thanks for the kind words...I'm glad you enjoyed the article.

The bailouts are going to come back to haunt us, I'm afraid, and Congress and the president did this without a whole lot of debate entirely to protect the special interests they were in bed with as far as I'm concerned. Check out Weekend Monkey's comment on the Madoff scandal as see if you agree with him.

As to WHY there wasn't much debate and why Bush was so anxious to get this thing through..this may provide some food for thought.

There were a couple of standup guys in Congress who tried to stop it, just not enough. ( BTW, my choice for president Duncan Hunter was one of them. He voted against it.)

Take care, have a great 2009 and don't be a stranger.

All Best,