Sunday, September 20, 2009

Obama Expresses A Willingness To Give Newspapers Taxpayer Money

Via Memeorandum:

According to The Hill, "Obama open to newspaper bailout bill."

The president said he is "happy to look at" bills before Congress that
would give struggling news organizations tax breaks if they were to restructure
as nonprofit businesses...

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) has introduced S. 673, the so-called "Newspaper
Revitalization Act," that would give outlets tax deals if they were to
restructure as 501(c)(3) corporations. That bill has so far attracted one
cosponsor, Cardin's Maryland colleague Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D).

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs had played down the possibility of
government assistance for news organizations, which have been hit by an economic
downturn and dwindling ad revenue.

It seems the way to get taxpayer money these days is to make nice with the Administration. This is certainly true of this country's newspaper industry which has either ignored, downplayed or buried stories critical to the administration. It is highly doubtful that the industry will be more likely to view the administration with a critical eye if the are being propped up by the government.

The Hill quotes Pres. Obama:

"I am concerned that if the direction of the news is all blogosphere, all
opinions, with no serious fact-checking, no serious attempts to put stories in
context, that what you will end up getting is people shouting at each other
across the void but not a lot of mutual understanding," he said.

I would be more concerned about breaching the wall that is supposed to exist between the government and the press in this country.

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