What happens when the Fourth Estate becomes a subsidiary of Big Government?

posted at 2:20 pm on December 1, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

The national media likes to fashion itself as a bulwark against the power of government, with the power of free speech to reveal the truth and keep our governing class honest.  However, what happens when the government takes an ownership stake in the Fourth Estate?  Michelle notes that we may soon find out:

Seven legislators from the area served by The Bristol Press and The Herald in New Britain today wrote to the state Department of Economic and Community Development to ask for its help in preventing the closure of the newspapers.

We’ll have more on this breaking news later, but for now, here’s the letter.

It’s also encouraging today to see that Jim Romenesko’s daily email roundup of media news for the Poynter Institute, which the whole industry reads, featured at the top of its list the story about Gov. Jodi Rell and Attorney General Richard Blumenthal’s willingness to lend a hand to the effort to save the papers. At the very least, it’s better to go down shouting than to slip quietly into the night.

Is it really?  Newspapers might think so, but what happens when they give government — at the state and/or federal level — ownership in their companies?  The “independent” media will suddenly lose a great deal of credibility.

That’s true even by them requesting the bailout.  For instance, do readers of the Bristol Press and The Herald think that the newspapers will dare criticize Rell and Blumenthal while this request sits on their desks?  And if Rell and Blumenthal do bail them out, can readers be sure that the new “owners” won’t have some conditions on their largesse?

Government shouldn’t be taking ownership stakes in any private enterprise, but even more so in the media.  We need a strong, independent national media to inform the citizenry of the abuses of power that occur in government at all levels.  That won’t be possible when the government owns the presses, or at the very least has a great deal of financial leverage over the media outlets and their owners.

No bailouts, especially for newspapers and other media outlets.  Let them fail, and let new entrepeneurs enter the market with business models that work.  In this case, we may not just be subsidizing failure, but creating propaganda outlets for the governing class.  Conspiracy theorists like to rail on about “corporate media”, but government-subsidized media is an actual threat to democracy.

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A little history …

Pravda was the official state-approved news agency of the Communist Party Politburo in the USSR under Lenin, Stalin, and a host of other Soviet presidents.

In the early days of the Communist government in Russia, the Politburo consisted of 5 members–Lenin, Stalin, Leon Trotsky, Lev Kamenev, and Nikolai Krestinski.

These 5 formed the Communist Party central committee, and Pravda, as the nation’s leading newspaper, served as the propaganda arm of the central committee.

It is interesting to note that Pravda had been in existence before the Bolshevik Revolution that brought the Communists to power. After the revolution the ruling central committee simply seized control of the newspaper, and it became an official part of the Politburo.

Never hurts ..

tarpon on December 1, 2008 at 2:23 PM

All I can say is-wow.
Now with the 20,000 domestic troops added to this, we can expect to be fully controlled.
Dear God in Heaven…..

Badger40 on December 1, 2008 at 2:24 PM

If there’s any industry in worse shape than the big three automakers, it’s newspapers. And that’s because it is a dying/shrinking industry. Talk about throwing good money after bad.

rbj on December 1, 2008 at 2:24 PM

The media is already owned by the Democrat National Committee as it is, what’s the problem with formalizing the agreement.

Anyone who gets their “news” from the MSM is woefully uninformed and it showed on election day, 2008.

NoDonkey on December 1, 2008 at 2:25 PM

Dead-tree media was in its death throes way before the present “economic crisis” prompted the current “bailout mania.”

Toss all the dying newspapers in the Giant Recycle Bin of history. An emphatic NO to more bailouts!

innominatus on December 1, 2008 at 2:25 PM

Isn’t the BBC government subsidized? Not that it’s any sort of unbiased but I thought government subsidized news media was common in Europe. Which is why they try to claim our media isn’t free (because it’s run by corporations) while theirs is (because it’s run by the impartial government) – which is always good for some lulz.

apollyonbob on December 1, 2008 at 2:30 PM

All I can say is-wow.
Now with the 20,000 domestic troops added to this, we can expect to be fully controlled.
Dear God in Heaven…..

Badger40 on December 1, 2008 at 2:24 PM

Better get fitted for your jumpsuit!

loudmouth883 on December 1, 2008 at 2:30 PM

I think it’s quite a bit too late for the media to even pretend to be independent. They long ago became a subsidiary of the left wing of the democrat party and this election cycle it was more obvious than ever.

Kronos on December 1, 2008 at 2:32 PM

All I can say is-wow.
Now with the 20,000 domestic troops added to this, we can expect to be fully controlled.
Dear God in Heaven…..

Badger40 on December 1, 2008 at 2:24 PM

Yup, this, the 20000 troops, the other bailouts… we’re rapidly becoming a Communist nation. With the other bailouts, shutting out competition to the large corporations, combined with government regulations in exchange for the money, this means we’re basically just nationalizing a whole bunch of industries, from banking to housing to the auto industry, now even the press. Welcome to the USSA.

OneGyT on December 1, 2008 at 2:33 PM

Just a thought, but I think I could live with a channel explicitly devoted to US military propaganda. Call it the Propaganda Channel, just so everyone understands.

Count to 10 on December 1, 2008 at 2:33 PM

We need a strong, independent national media to inform the citizenry of the abuses of power that occur in government at all levels.

Wow! We should try that some day!

ErikTheRed on December 1, 2008 at 2:35 PM

Let those worthless News lies. Go under! Good Riddance!

sheebe on December 1, 2008 at 2:36 PM

If the media is allowed to fail I could see bloggers with followings becoming mainstream and a more lively debate in the media. Malkin versus Kos. Ace versus exciteable Andy. Patterico junk punching the entire staff of the LAT!!

Yeah baby political debate! Lincoln Douglas style every Friday here on Fox!

Theworldisnotenough on December 1, 2008 at 2:36 PM

Welcome to the USSA.

America’s chickens…coming home to…roost.

PierreLegrand on December 1, 2008 at 2:37 PM

Should Texas and Alaska secede now?

upinak on December 1, 2008 at 2:37 PM

The Obama Sentinal Times

The Obama Chronicle

The Pelosi-Reid Gazzette

portlandon on December 1, 2008 at 2:37 PM

To allow the MSM to become stooges of Obama is to presume they aren’t stooges of Obama now. The MSM is an arm of the DNC, has been for decades. At least now when someone says NY Times is a fully owned subsidiary of the DNC, it will actually be so.

angryed on December 1, 2008 at 2:37 PM

Should Texas and Alaska secede now?

upinak on December 1, 2008 at 2:37 PM

I’m all for a President Palin & President Perry. Let’s Roll.

portlandon on December 1, 2008 at 2:38 PM

The “independent” media will suddenly lose a great deal of credibility.

You have to have it before you can lose it.

Cicero43 on December 1, 2008 at 2:40 PM

Fourth Estate? What Fourth Estate? The major newspapers have always been a tool of the Socialist Party. Which is precisely why, now, legislators are attempting to obtain
State [taxpayer] funding in order to prevent collapse.

Sorry, newspapers, your days are numbered. And, they are numbered because the People … the thinking People in this country, have no faith in you.

You were, are and always will be tools of the Socialists. And that is why you’re on the verge of collapse.

OhEssYouCowboys on December 1, 2008 at 2:41 PM

In this case, we may not just be subsidizing failure, but creating propaganda outlets for the governing class. Conspiracy theorists like to rail on about “corporate media”, but government-subsidized media is an actual threat to democracy.

.
OK, so what’s up with NPR and PBS? I think it’s 2 for 1. With taxpayer dollars we subsidize failure AND give the left a massive propaganda utility. And since that deal’s not good enough, commercially successful talk radio will need to be neutered too.
.
If this is democracy not quite yet under threat, then bring on the socialism, we’ll hardly notice the difference.

Mark30339 on December 1, 2008 at 2:46 PM

The PRESS is too important to fail folks. Are we really going to bail out fat cat investors and bankers, but not the hard working beat reporters who bring us the news that’s fit to print? Honestly, who didn’t see this coming? So far, this day is full of good news.

Weight of Glory on December 1, 2008 at 2:46 PM

This whole world will become just one big prison yard. Some of us will be prisoners and the rest will be guards.

Tav on December 1, 2008 at 2:46 PM

The frog is boiling.

whitetop on December 1, 2008 at 2:47 PM

Do the Dems have to have 60 in the senate for it to be an official State Run Media?

bobby04040 on December 1, 2008 at 2:50 PM

Isn’t the BBC government subsidized? Not that it’s any sort of unbiased but I thought government subsidized news media was common in Europe.

Yes, I believe you right.

I have mixed feelings about our media. I don’t want government funded or run media, that’s not democratic! However, I think American news media has become ridiculous, it is really an embarrassment to our great nation. They are too entrenched in corporate interests. Our news has become too tabloid-like. So what to do???

terryannonline on December 1, 2008 at 2:58 PM

Scariest Story I’ve read yet.

BiasedGirl on December 1, 2008 at 2:58 PM

When the media is owned by the Government, it’s called socialism.

Phil Byler on December 1, 2008 at 3:00 PM

Of course, the press has already abdicated their responsibility. But at least before, there was a chance that they’d figure out that their lopsided coverage was costing them $$$, and correct the problem. But if they’re feeding at Uncle Sam’s trough, that faint possibility dims even further.

Although, how do they go further in the tank than this? NBC News is selling the “Yes We Can” DVD.

hawksruleva on December 1, 2008 at 3:02 PM

However, I think American news media has become ridiculous, it is really an embarrassment to our great nation. They are too entrenched in corporate interests. Our news has become too tabloid-like. So what to do???

terryannonline on December 1, 2008 at 2:58 PM

Corporate interests?

capitalist piglet on December 1, 2008 at 3:03 PM

All I can say is-wow.
Now with the 20,000 domestic troops added to this, we can expect to be fully controlled.
Dear God in Heaven…..

Badger40 on December 1, 2008 at 2:24 PM

Separation of church and state.
Separation of schools and state.
Separation of enterprise and state.
Separation of media and state.

petefrt on December 1, 2008 at 3:04 PM

When the media is owned by the Government, it’s called socialism Pravda.

petefrt on December 1, 2008 at 3:05 PM

For a second I was frightened and surprised by this idea.

ThePrez on December 1, 2008 at 3:05 PM

Corporate interests?

capitalist piglet on December 1, 2008 at 3:03 PM

I know I sound like a populist but it’s the truth. We have a bunch of media conglomerates who exist to cross promote each other. It’s not healthy. That is why continue to get crappy news.

terryannonline on December 1, 2008 at 3:08 PM

So lets see. We have the government creeping into ownership/control of the media. We have the ‘Fairness Doctrine’ rearing its ugly head again. We have proposals for 20,000 armed forces personnel to be used domestically. We have Rahm (Obama chief of staff) talking about a conscripted civilian security force.

We have Obama talking about a Civilian National Security Force…

“We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.”

And we have Secretary of Defense Robert Gates who was strangely retained in his position by Obama…”If we’ve got a State Department or personnel that have been trained just to be behind walls, and they have not been equipped to get out there alongside our military and engage, then we don’t have the kind of national security apparatus that is needed. That has to be planned for; it has to be paid for. Those personnel have to be trained. And they all have to be integrated.”

Clearly he is talking about a civilian force operating alongside our military, integrated and trained.

None of these are good signs IMO.

sharrukin on December 1, 2008 at 3:08 PM

This was the obvious next step in the bailout process. A gift for the NY Times, WAPO and other dead wood news operations for their kind assistance in the election.

Obama will personally announce this bailout and will frame it as a vital service for the disenfranchised citizenry that have no home access to a computer, blah, blah….

His support for this aid will end in early November 2012 after the newspapers elect him again.

FireBlogger on December 1, 2008 at 3:11 PM

The “independent” media will suddenly lose a great deal of credibility.

This country just elected a man whose mother was raised by communists (Barack’s grandparents – Stanley and Madelyn Dunham), e.g. sending her to Mercer High School, and later moving to Hawaii (known as a safe haven for communists back in those days). His mother met Barack Obama, Sr., in a class for Russian. Barack Hussein Obama, Sr. supported “Soviet-style communism.” When his mother left Stanley and Madelyn Dunham in charge of Barack, Stanley brought in the communist Frank Marshall Davis to “mentor” him. Frank Marshall Davis wasn’t just a communist, he was also the author of “Sex Rebel: Black”, a hardcore pornographic autobiography…how “hardcore?” Try bisexuality, exhibitionism, sadomasochism, group sex (“One chapter concerns the seduction by Mr Davis and his first wife of a 13-year-old girl called Anne”), etc.

Where was this so-called “independent” media on all of that? Holding hands with MSM? BTW, that above paragraph occurred before Barack met the racist Rev. Wright, becoming a member of a Black Liberation Theology (a racist doctrine) church…for 20 years, before Bill Ayers, etc.

Basically, media – with few exceptions – has become an extension of liberals and Lefty Gov’t, and is useless.

Karmi on December 1, 2008 at 3:12 PM

Corporate interests?

capitalist piglet on December 1, 2008 at 3:03 PM

Of course, Capitalist piglet. The only bias that free market media has is profit. And that’s how it supposed to work, right? As the theory goes, if you let markets run free, they will invariably, through competition, provide the best product for the consumer.

Yet, strangely, conservatives seem to argue that our media, which is the least regulated in the world, not only does not provide the best product for the consumers, but provides a terribly biased, horrendous product.

You can argue that free markets provide the best products to consumers. You can argue that the media is terribly biased. But you can’t argue both. To say that the American media is biased is to essentially argue that there is a terrible flaw with capitalism.

justfinethanks on December 1, 2008 at 3:13 PM

I’d never head of an American “state-owned news organization” until Obama got elected.

Just sayin’…

flipflop on December 1, 2008 at 3:14 PM

As with all things liberal… one gets rewarded for failing.

jukin on December 1, 2008 at 3:15 PM

To say that the American media is biased is to essentially argue that there is a terrible flaw with capitalism.

justfinethanks on December 1, 2008 at 3:13 PM

It’s not a flaw with capitalism. It’s hyper-capitalism.

terryannonline on December 1, 2008 at 3:17 PM

The “independent” media will suddenly lose a great deal of credibility.

Ed, maybe you better sit down while I tell you this, but that horse…. well, see that cloud of dust on the horizon?

drunyan8315 on December 1, 2008 at 3:20 PM

justfinethanks on December 1, 2008 at 3:13 PM

I think to say that the only bias that free market media has is profit is not correct. They have their own agenda which does not coincide with many of their customers, which is why they are losing money. The free market system has provided bloggers and the new media. Capitalism works just fine. What journalists want is not capitalism, they want state sponsorship to force everyone to read their dreck to get any news.

theotherKate on December 1, 2008 at 3:21 PM

Well, misuse what we’re given and watch it be taken away. So thanks MSM for that. I am seeing reports in the news now on how great a black friday it was, but guess what? The market is down over 400 sorry points because its NOT a good spending season. The press is still at it. Its utterly ridiculous and people had better wise up that we’re losing control of our country. Its being bought out by overseas. We’re going to be a piece of dirt that Countries like Russia and China will go to war over to own, not us!

I dont dream this stuff up. Turn on your radio. Whats ABC news saying? I am having trouble putting any trust in any media because they say what whoever pays them wants them to say or they don’t get to be on TV or radio anymore.

Whats with the report of the large prisons being built in the midwest? Whats planned I wonder? hmmm?

and…here comes Hillary for a good 16 years. 4+4+4+4

johnnyU on December 1, 2008 at 3:25 PM

They have their own agenda which does not coincide with many of their customers, which is why they are losing money.

You have point here. Free markets may force big media entities to self-correct when the market shows a new dynamic that includes new media. Hopefully, we will get better news as a result.

terryannonline on December 1, 2008 at 3:26 PM

You can argue that free markets provide the best products to consumers. You can argue that the media is terribly biased. But you can’t argue both. To say that the American media is biased is to essentially argue that there is a terrible flaw with capitalism.

justfinethanks on December 1, 2008 at 3:13 PM

Actually, American media perfectly proves the success of capitalism. The media companies losing the most money are the ones who have most completely advocated their objectivity. Example – MSNBC is way behind Fox in the ratings, and thus in ad revenue. They’re even behind CNN, who tends to be a little more even-handed than MSNBC.

Newspapers don’t print the news that folks pick, of course. They print the news that their editors pick. That is an essentially non-free market idea. Over the long term, of course, new media outlets will open, and if they offer content that readers prefer, they’ll be successful.

Lastly, the newspaper industry in particular has done a pretty good job of setting up virtual monopolies in many of its markets. Pre-internet, the market was without choice, and the newspapers made tons of money. But now, consumers are voting with their $$, and the newspapers are dying – capitalism at its best.

hawksruleva on December 1, 2008 at 3:29 PM

The only presses the government should have will be busy printing worthless currency. No way in hell should they be allowed a stake in the “free press”.

djtnt on December 1, 2008 at 3:29 PM

The free market system has provided bloggers and the new media.

theotherKate on December 1, 2008 at 3:21 PM

Yes, but economic theory also states that the best rise to the top and the worst fall away. News media has certainly taken a hit, but if you look at the sets on CNN or MSNBC, they aren’t really hurting for money. It’s not like holograms grow on trees. And bloggers are still fringe, reaching very few people. Most internet users get their info from yahoo news.

People have claimed that news media has had a bias for decades, even when it was a much more profitable business than it was now. I think that when you say the MSM “has their own agenda,” you are claiming that the free market failed in this instance.

justfinethanks on December 1, 2008 at 3:31 PM

“Who cares” any more. The media has lost what little respect it had as an independent, unbiased entity already. They do not have much further to sink as it is.

jeanie on December 1, 2008 at 3:33 PM

Lastly, the newspaper industry in particular has done a pretty good job of setting up virtual monopolies in many of its markets. Pre-internet, the market was without choice, and the newspapers made tons of money. But now, consumers are voting with their $$, and the newspapers are dying – capitalism at its best.

Yes, but where is the quality? You can not argue that we have been receiving quality for the past few decades. Here are some of the majorly covered news stories of the 90s and this decade: the O.J. trial, Monica Lewinsky sex scandal, the death of Princess Diana, Paris Hilton going to jail, Ana Nicole Smith dying, and Janet Jackson’s scandalous Superbowl performance. Can you honestly say we’ve received quality news???

terryannonline on December 1, 2008 at 3:37 PM

People have claimed that news media has had a bias for decades, even when it was a much more profitable business than it was now. I think that when you say the MSM “has their own agenda,” you are claiming that the free market failed in this instance.

You are connecting the free market with an agenda. If I start a business with the agenda to sell, say, cheese and jelly sandwiches and no one wants to buy, my business failure because of my agenda is not a free market failure, it’s a validation of the free market. Nobody wants a cheese and jelly sandwich.

theotherKate on December 1, 2008 at 3:38 PM

Exactly. What socialist government has not taken control of the media? We will not and can not be different. The truth cannot be told!

allrsn on December 1, 2008 at 3:40 PM

Somewhere, George Soros is doing the “evil chuckle”.

marklmail on December 1, 2008 at 3:41 PM

We need a strong, independent national media to inform the citizenry of the abuses of power that occur in government at all levels.

Such counter revolutionary ideas will not be tolerated! Stay where you are and lay on the floor with your hand clasped behind your head. Do not resist! The Assless Chaps Brigayed are on their way to take you into custody!

ronsfi on December 1, 2008 at 3:42 PM

You are connecting the free market with an agenda. If I start a business with the agenda to sell, say, cheese and jelly sandwiches and no one wants to buy, my business failure because of my agenda is not a free market failure, it’s a validation of the free market. Nobody wants a cheese and jelly sandwich.

theotherKate on December 1, 2008 at 3:38 PM

Yes, but if you are a success, you are rewarded financially while at the same time providing a public good, such as giving people cheaper and higher quality PB&Js that they can get anywhere else. Chris Matthews is a millionaire. Ed is not. Does this mean that Chris’s information is more valuable to the public? And if you don’t think so, doesn’t this mean that it is simultaneously possible to be a success in the free market while being damaging to the public?

justfinethanks on December 1, 2008 at 3:49 PM

As I posted at HA.

Exactly. What socialist government has not taken control of the media? We will not and can not be different. The truth cannot be told!

allrsn on December 1, 2008 at 3:40 PM

allrsn on December 1, 2008 at 3:55 PM

Yes, but where is the quality? You can not argue that we have been receiving quality for the past few decades. Here are some of the majorly covered news stories of the 90s and this decade: the O.J. trial, Monica Lewinsky sex scandal, the death of Princess Diana, Paris Hilton going to jail, Ana Nicole Smith dying, and Janet Jackson’s scandalous Superbowl performance. Can you honestly say we’ve received quality news???

terryannonline on December 1, 2008 at 3:37 PM

Right. When businesses have a monopoly, they’re free to sacrifice quality, because customers have nowhere else to turn. The Associated Press is another great example. The vast majority of American papers get their news from the AP. Which basically means they’ll run whatever AP runs when it comes to national news.

Advertisers are fleeing newspapers even faster than readers. The newspaper model relies their ability to raise rates even when audience falls, but with so many new ways to advertise the realtors and auto dealers are spending money elsewhere.

hawksruleva on December 1, 2008 at 3:56 PM

allrsn on December 1, 2008 at 3:55 PM

OPPS

allrsn on December 1, 2008 at 3:59 PM

Not necessarily a public good, but what people want to consume, or what they are able to consume. In the marketplace, Chris Matthews’ information is more valuable to the public than Ed’s. It is more accessible and more consumed. Do I agree with him? No. I think he’s biased. You seem to be saying that since he is successful in the free market, he can’t be biased. You can be both at the same time if that’s the only thing that people have access to, or if they are accustomed to consuming it. To answer your question, you can be successful in the free market and damaging at the same time. Consider sex trafficking, porn, drugs, etc. They are all very successful.

theotherKate on December 1, 2008 at 4:00 PM

What happens? We stop watching, but we were doing that anyway. Olbermann’s lame would-be Murrow, is a sad reminder that in our Oprah centered world of self worship, even news reporters cannot resist the temptation to become part of the story.

Angry Dumbo on December 1, 2008 at 4:11 PM

Chris Matthews is a millionaire. Ed is not. Does this mean that Chris’s information is more valuable to the public? And if you don’t think so, doesn’t this mean that it is simultaneously possible to be a success in the free market while being damaging to the public?

justfinethanks on December 1, 2008 at 3:49 PM

The Free Market certainly doesn’t prevent damaging businesses from profiting. Ask Big Tobacco. Or your local crack dealer ;-) But it’s a complicated process (which is precisely why government intervention is bad, the law of unintended consequences pops up every time).

For starters, capitalism requires accurate information. Crack users aren’t fully aware of the dangers that their products pose. Big Media clearly has an advantage here. They don’t often write stories about how their audience and advertiser bases are both shrinking ;-)

Then there’s the monopoly issue, which I pointed out earlier. Big Media doesn’t exist in a pure free market. So they’re insulated somewhat from choice, which is capitalism’s main mechanism. The quality of most newspaper reporting eroded after the typical 2-paper towns became 1-paper towns. But with only 1 paper, what choice do readers have? More and more, they choose to read no paper at all.

Lastly, I think capitalism is exerting pressure on media to change. NY Times stock is at junk status. They can’t survive for long like that. If they choose to provide more un-biased, high-quality reporting, then capitalism will have made a better product. If it fails, then the free market will replace it, so again capitalism will be proven.

I think a lot of folks will be shocked at the speed with which Media companies could collapse in the next 2-5 years.

hawksruleva on December 1, 2008 at 4:17 PM

I’m not sure “Pravda” is quite the right analogy.

Sounds more like MiniTru to me.

He who controls the past, controls the present.
He who controls the present, controls the future.

malclave on December 1, 2008 at 4:20 PM

Be careful what you ask for………….

Seven Percent Solution on December 1, 2008 at 4:22 PM

Right. Govt ownership of dying newspapers will, what, force people to read them?!

Akzed on December 1, 2008 at 4:25 PM

To answer your question, you can be successful in the free market and damaging at the same time. Consider sex trafficking, porn, drugs, etc. They are all very successful.

Then I suppose we are on the same page. The Austrian argument has always been that profit motive will always help the public. Like car companies that want to make money will strive to create safer, more fuel efficient cars than what other people are making. They make money, we get better cars, everyone wins. But it doesn’t always work like that.

My personal theory is that news networks were in the tank for Obama because that’s where the ratings were. People were just more interested in the new guy, and wanted to learn more about him, so they tuned in whenever people were talking about Obama. MSNBC and NBC have GM shareholders to answer to, and didn’t want to have to offer an apologetic note along with the quarterly report as to why they chose “balance” over attracting advertisers.

justfinethanks on December 1, 2008 at 4:25 PM

Gee Ed, good post. We posed that question on our blog nearly 3 weeks ago though — http://thirdpipe.com/2008/11/13/fat-lady-arrives-in-may-at-6th-st-and-8th-ave-ny/

Dr. Dog on December 1, 2008 at 4:27 PM

Liberals argue that we need public schools because and educated electorate is necessary to democracy. My favorite reductio ad absurdam argument is that democracy also requires an informed electorate, but we don’t let the governments run the newspapers. That always used to shut them up.

Guess I’ll to find a new argument…

JackOfClubs on December 1, 2008 at 4:49 PM

No subsidies for Democratic party newspapers. Let the papers that will tell the truth rise out of the ashes….

DL13 on December 1, 2008 at 4:56 PM

Where are the enviro-nazis on this. How can Obambi support the murder of millions of trees that are sacrificed on the alter of corporate greed. I think we should communicate by drum circle and “smoke” signals, man.

I can’t believe the stupid lefty MSM thought that the KOS kids, poor urban people, migrant workers, and all their other special constituencies were going to subscribe to the New York Times in droves. I’m shocked, shocked I say!

Laura in Maryland on December 1, 2008 at 5:09 PM

This process began in a small way when the government initiated taking ownership positions in banks. Banks are, themselves, investors and own shares of media companies and newspapers. Has anyone put together any numbers yet about what the government actually has its fingers in now? Some might make the argument that the government only has minority interests in banks. In many cases, organized crime only takes minority interests in businesses, but with their ‘powers’ of enforcement they can ‘influence’ the operations of those businesses as if they were a majority.

Unequal Time

bryanmyrick on December 1, 2008 at 5:33 PM

What about my buggy whip manufacturing company? When are we getting a bailout to avoid going under in these hard economic times.

gekkobear on December 1, 2008 at 6:03 PM

To allow the MSM to become stooges of Obama is to presume they aren’t stooges of Obama now. The MSM is an arm of the DNC, has been for decades. At least now when someone says NY Times is a fully owned subsidiary of the DNC, it will actually be so.

angryed on December 1, 2008 at 2:37 PM

True. They might as well make it official. It’s not as if the MSM have their precious credibility to worry about. Credibility is to the MSM as virginity is to a whore: something they lost long ago and ain’t gettin’ back.

ddrintn on December 1, 2008 at 6:11 PM

What happens when the Fourth Estate becomes a subsidiary of Big Government?

UM, BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA GETS ELECTED PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES?

Just my guess.

Achtung! “Branch Rickey” may be “gone” for a while to an “educational facility.” /not being sarcastic

Branch Rickey on December 1, 2008 at 6:12 PM

What happens is NBC literally becomes The National Broadcasting Company…

Personally, not a fan of joining the club of nations with the oft quoted “State News Agencies”, like China, Russia, Iran, Cuba, North Korea, etc…

SuperCool on December 1, 2008 at 7:16 PM

MSM to the population: All the news WE see fit to tell you.

bryan2369 on December 1, 2008 at 7:26 PM

Up is down. Good is bad. Death is life. B.S. is pumpkin pie.
Get used to it.

Wyatt Wingfoot on December 1, 2008 at 7:29 PM

A buddy of mine is a camerman for CNN. I asked him if his paycheck comes directly from the Obama campaign or does the DNC handle the payroll processing.

He laughed and said he’s going to use that one at work.

Wine_N_Dine on December 1, 2008 at 9:48 PM

What happens when the Fourth Estate becomes a subsidiary of Big Government?

One set of whores is beholden to another set of whores.

The fools are us.

Entelechy on December 1, 2008 at 9:48 PM

Armstrong Williams!
Michael McManus!
Maggie Gallagher!

benny shakar on December 1, 2008 at 11:23 PM

Quietly buy your weapons, ammo, but not all at once. Have some sense about it. Store them properly and not all in the same place.

If they come to collect them, just say you sold them to the guy down the street right before he moved, or start your war right then and there.

Spiritk9 on December 2, 2008 at 2:31 PM