Green Room

Obama Looking Forward to Nationalizing Newspapers

posted at 6:25 pm on September 20, 2009 by

The nation’s top “mainstream” (that is, reliably liberal) newspapers would all become nonprofits — kind of like PBS:

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.

“I haven’t seen detailed proposals yet, but I’ll be happy to look at them,” Obama told the editors of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Toledo Blade in an interview.

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).

(Actually, they’re already nonprofits… but more like Lehman Brothers than PBS. At least they can formalize their status; insolvency — it’s not a bug, it’s a feature!)

How did the nation’s elite liberal newspapers get into this mess? History is clear:

  • When they shifted from trying to report the news to trying to elect Democrats, they began shedding circulation.
  • When they lost circulation, they lost advertising — including the critical classified adverts, which were the major source of most newspapers’ revenue.
  • As their income tanked, they had to let reporters and editors go. Given their business model, of course they let go all the conservatives and moderates, anyone who might insist upon hard facts instead of “reporting” Democratic spin.
  • Thus, they became even more unilateral and strident, hence lost even more circulation. In various fields of science and maths, this is called a “feedback loop.”

But now Sens. Ben Cardin (D-MD, 100%) and Barbara Mikulski (D-MD, 95%) have proposed a solution to this catastrophic turn of events: These newspapers will henceforth become nonprofit organizations… and will be bailed out via “tax deals.” This sounds oddly like a government subsidy.

Freed from the demand that they actually turn a profit, or even retain readership, they can now utterly wallow, like swamp hogs, in the foetid morass of New Left and liberal advocacy. They will no longer be in danger of sinking into the quicksand; the government will keep bailing them out, so long as they continue suckling at Barack H. Obama’s breast.

What a cozy, madonna-and-holy-infant relationship.

At last, the only major national newspapers we shall have in future will be directly controlled by the federal government, and wholly dependent upon the president for their subsistence and continued existence — like in Oogo Chavez’s Venezuela. No more of this unpatriotic carping and racist demagoguing of the mitzvahs sloughed off by the Obamacle; the president and the Democrats in Congress will speak ex cathedra, and the church organs will pipe and print the holy writ. We’ll finally have all of our drunks in a row.

What could go wrong?

Cross-posted to Big Lizards

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How do you give ‘tax breaks’ to a corporation that doesn’t have any profits?

Is this another idea from staff presented to The Obama?
Another “Yes, sure, whatever you think needs to be done.” response from The President?

Skandia Recluse on September 20, 2009 at 6:55 PM

Revenue is essential to get a tax break. So therefore, because logic escapes this entire idea, it must be passed into law with no debate under the cloak of darkness.

It’s for the people.

uknowmorethanme on September 20, 2009 at 7:09 PM

There must be 47 million uninformed non-newspaper-readers out there. Dozens of them dying every day that we don’t act.

J.E. Dyer on September 20, 2009 at 7:20 PM

Interesting for The One to raise this issue now with current events and polling starting to go against his agenda. Whether he actually intends to bailout newspapers or not, throwing a possible lifeline out there now sure has to make an already compliant media even more of a lapdog, starting now. How hard is a financially-struggling NY Times or Washington Post going to cover him now.

PatMac on September 20, 2009 at 7:30 PM

And the public will continue to ignore newspapers for as long as the liberal rags are being bailed out. Yawn.

Philly on September 20, 2009 at 8:30 PM

I see some, ahh, resistance to this from the angry mobs.

Rational Thought on September 20, 2009 at 8:30 PM

All the big totalitarian dictators had their own newspapers.

Stalin had Pravda and Ivestia.

Hitler had the Völkischer Beobachter and Der Sturmer.

Obama will have the NYT/WaPo/LAT.

Look for them to bail out MSDNC/CNN/ABC/CBS/NBC next.

Nahanni on September 21, 2009 at 5:57 AM

Bail outs followed by firings of top management, followed by a pay master and a newspaper czar. Be careful when you stick your hand out to government for money, they always put the chains on your wrists.

Kissmygrits on September 21, 2009 at 8:17 AM

How’d the old Soviet joke go? “In Pravda (Truth)there is no isvestia (news), in Isvestia there is no pravda?”

Blacksmith on September 21, 2009 at 11:15 AM

Would “journalists” at nationalized newspapers still be protected by Constitutional guarantees of Freedom of the Press?

Should they be, considering the government would be their employer?

malclave on September 21, 2009 at 1:59 PM

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