Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Here We Go: Connecticut Democrat Calls for Newspaper Bailout

Of course he's a Democrat, although Reuters fails to note that fact while agonizing through 26 paragraphs. How better an illustration of media bias can we get than a liberal media story about a Democrat calling for a government bailout of a newspaper in his district and not have them note he's a Democrat?
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.
Yeah, well, this is one time I'll agree with the experts. Any government intervention or bailout of a media enterprise to me makes that outfit government media. They just cannot ever be viewed as objective, not that many of them are to begin with.
Even as industries deemed too important to fail are seeking bailouts, most newspaper publishers have refused to give serious thought to the idea, though some industry insiders recounted joking about it with other newspaper executives.

"The whole idea of the First Amendment and separating media and giving them freedom of control from the government is sacrosanct," said Digby Solomon, publisher of Tribune Co's Daily Press in Newport News, Virginia.
Digby Solomon gets it.

This clown doesn't.
Former Miami Herald Editor Tom Fiedler said that a democracy has an obligation to help preserve a free press.

"I truly believe that no democracy can remain healthy without an equally healthy press," said Fiedler, now dean of Boston University's College of Communication. "Thus it is in democracy's interest to support the press in the same sense that the human being doesn't hesitate to take medicine when his or her health is threatened."
Astonishing. No, Mr. Fiedler, it is not in the government's business to support a failing enterprise, although we're apparently well on out way to doing just that.

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