by Warner Todd Huston | September 22, 2009 2:03 pm
The Hill is reporting that Obama is now “open” to a newspaper bailout. Well, welcome to the state run media.
Not long ago Senator Ben Cardin (D- Md.) introduced S. 673, the Newspaper Revitalization Act. It is supposed to give news media tax breaks if they restructure as a non-profit corporation. So far, though, the bill has little support among his colleagues.
The Hill reminds us that in May Obama’s spokesman down played the possibility of government assistance to the media.
But in a recent appearance with the editors of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Obama seemed to say he’s open to the idea saying, “I haven’t seen detailed proposals yet, but I’ll be happy to look at them.”
Now, let’s be clear, here. Obama did not say he’d support a bailout of the media. He simply paid lipservice to “look at” any such proposal. Obama constantly uses this line without meaning it at all… yes, he’s lied like this before.
Let’s take his claim that he’s interested in hearing Republican ideas on healthcare, for instance. After all, he’s consistently said he wants to hear from the GOP on healthcare, yet has steadfastly refused to take meetings with the GOP leadership on the issue. In fact, Minority Leader Boehner (R- OH) says that Obama hasn’t met with any Republicans on healthcare since last April.
So, from his mealy mouthing an interest to “look at” newspaper bailout proposals we cannot assume he really means it.
However, one other thing he said in the interview with the paper is a frightening.
Mr. Obama said he noted the trend. “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,” the President said.
This is a far different thing than an offhanded claim that he’ll “look at” any newspaper bailout plan. This quote represents a more thought out concept. What Obama is saying here is that he believes the “blogospheres” has “no serious fact-checking.” He is saying that he wants someone to somehow make sure that “facts” are relayed properly. But who should do this? One might presume that he thinks that government should be the media’s fact checker.
This seems a step toward control of the media by government and a bailout would be the first step in that sort of control. After all, once government gives funds government takes control. The question is do Media outlets want the government to tell them what to do? That is what will happen if they take government money, to be sure.
On the other hand, the Old Media is so sold out to Obama already that they may not mind it a bit if their Obammessiah tells them what to print directly.
(Cross posted at RedCounty.com.)
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