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  • Bailouts Not Good for Free Speech

    This year already we’ve heard calls for reintroduction of the Fairness Doctrine, and Internet censorship. Now, the first call for public funding for newspapers is here. Lining up behind GM and AIG, media outlets could join the many “distressed businesses” begging for government aid.

    But, government funding for media – nationalization of the press – is no small step. Right now we have just PBS and NPR. Generally seen as left-wing outlets, these media sources are not shy to support government expansion, but maintain some independence. However, this is assuredly because they face stiff competition from other sources.

    In recent decades, both the variety and partisanship of news media has increased. It is not a coincidence that the two have come together. In competing fiercely for customers, entrepreneurs have put together specialized products to fill every niche. News outlets have become more specialized and technical as well. A lively market has emerged, with broad freedom to criticize and express a full spectrum of viewpoints. But this could all change.

    There have even been calls to extend the fairness doctrine to television in addition to radio. If the Fairness Doctrine is reinstated, and restricts the freedom of expression so critical to variety and competition on the radio and the airwaves, it will result in a smaller and more monopolized market. This market will be much easier for government sponsored media to dominate. When there is little competition in a market, and the biggest firms get government subsidies, it soon becomes difficult for any competitor to refuse aid. Add to this the proposed censorship of the Internet, and the free press could become a thing of the past.

    When the press in a country must crawl to government for funding, free speech withers and then is finally stamped out. It won’t happen over night, but the first step would be government bailouts for private newspapers. Then more regulations like the Fairness Doctrine would begin to be imposed – after all, you can’t expect government money without abiding by certain rules – and finally outright censorship. To prevent this dangerous trend, we must refrain from bailing out the press.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to Bailouts Not Good for Free Speech

    1. Tom Machamer Wooste says:

      What is the percentage of welfare dollars actually goes to the recipient? I heard it was as low as 28 percent. Is this true? Where can I find this info?

      Thank you!

      Tom

    2. Roy G Callahan says:

      Amen!

    3. Rick Odea, 54304 says:

      One more step toward a socialist nation. I am a small business owner, my bailout would come in the form of a tax reduction to stimulate the economy. Every business that thinks they are entilted to bailout money is trying to test how far the government will go to fix "their" problem. Corporations are going concerns and need to fix their own problems. Newspaper companies should have seen the writing on the wall years ago with the internet taking over where people acquire daily news. I can't feel sorry for businesses that didn't, or don't change to get lean and cost efficient. It is not up to our government to bail out these entities. Just like it wasn't the government to bail out the auto industry. The best thing that could have happened was for them to file bankruptcy, re-organize and break the unions that have taken them out of world competition. For all the money that has been paid out to retired employees via their retirement benefits, this money could have been reinvested into more efficient engines. Non-oil burning engines, or maybe engines that could and should get 60,70, or 80 miles per gallon. I am convinced that the technology has been available for years, but the oil companies and auto industry are too tied together.

      Government on every level needs to get much smaller. It's ridiculous for states to consider taxing the amount of miles traveled in a year if more efficient cars are on the road. Every state is in the same mess our country is in because of tax and over-spend measures. When are we going to wake up and elect fiscally responsible conservatives that will stand to the status quo of Washington.

      When are we going to attack our trade imbalance. If the US would properly place tariffs on the imports and make permanent the Bush tax reductions, the private sector would blossum. Create new jobs and the government would have more money than ever before. Get the lobbyists out of Washington. Ban them, fine them, make it illegal for our elected officals to have any contact with them. It's no different than a college athlete talking to a sports agent. Make a level playing field. Pay down our debt and be fiscally responsible. Then and only then, will all business be able to grow and prosper. If business fails so does our backbone of our nation.

    4. Ronald Burton 17 Sil says:

      I do not understand what has happened to the American people. They seem to have fallen into the clutches of extreme liberalism. Don't they know that moving this way will eventually erode and eliminate our freedom. Our schools are indoctrinating our childrem to follow the liberal way. The drive by media is brainwashing us all and now our government is completely controlled by extreme liberals. The only hope I can see for the future is conservative radio and television. People like Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and other conservative radio hosts are our last hope for waking people up to this dangerous slide into socialism. I just signed up with the Heritage Foundation and from what I see your group is also needed in turning this slide around.

    5. a shepherd fort myer says:

      In the words and mind of Leonardo Da Vinci,you do not see reality you only see it in changes.I see many changes I don't like and wonder why we have no more stand on their own feet Americans.Don't fall prey to perceived reality.

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