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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Obama Looking at Newspaper Bailout

With the federal treasury facing insolvency what industry do we help next?  Well lets see, how about the public relations arm of the Democratic party, the newspaper industry. That way when our Taxes go even higher they can tell us that it is a great idea. Today the President said that he would be happy to look at the Senate proposal allowing papers to restructure as non-profit organizations.

Non-Profit may describe a newspaper's balance sheet, but it should not describe its tax status, unless of course, if Senator Benjamin Cardin( D-Md.) gets his way.  The Senator introduced a bill on the Senate floor that would allow newspapers to elect to receive tax-exempt status all they have to do is promise not to endorse any political candidates (but they can report on the campaign).

Most newspapers today do not need an editorial page to show their bias, maybe that's why the President took this opportunity to bash the internet and spread love toward the newspaper industry.

Newspaper journalism gets words of praise Print media's role vital, Obama says

Saying he is a "big newspaper junkie," President Obama expressed hope on Friday that newspapers can find their way through the financial crisis most are now mired in.

In an Oval Office interview with editors from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and The Blade, the President talked about the vital role journalism and newspapers play in American society.

"Journalistic integrity, you know, fact-based reporting, serious investigative reporting, how to retain those ethics in all these different new media and how to make sure that it's paid for, is really a challenge," Mr. Obama said. "But it's something that I think is absolutely critical to the health of our democracy."

Across the country, newspapers are struggling to maintain readership and advertising revenue that has been lost to the Internet. Thousands of journalists have been laid off, and over the last year several newspapers have closed.

The Rocky Mountain News in Denver ceased operations, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer now publishes only on the Internet, and several large newspaper corporations have filed for bankruptcy, including the Tribune Co., owner of the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times

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.

"What I hope is that people start understanding if you're getting your newspaper over the Internet, that's not free and there's got to be a way to find a business model that supports that."

Several bills have been introduced in Congress to aid the newspaper industry, including a Senate measure that would allow newspaper companies to restructure as nonprofits with a variety of tax breaks. The President was noncommittal about the legislation but said: "I haven't seen detailed proposals yet, but I'll be happy to look at them."
There are some major problems with the Cardin that the President will be looking at:
  • This is nothing more than a "fancy" bailout. Besides the fact that newspapers are generally biased toward the liberal point of view, why should we "bail them out."
  • Cardin's assumption that the regular political reporting is unbiased, proves that he is either naive, or that he was abducted by aliens and missed the entire 2008 Campaign.
  • There is a reason that these newspapers are failing, they are not addressing the  needs of their readers. Newspapers tend to have a liberal slant, it is no coincidence that they are going the way of liberal talk radio. Readers are tired of the bias, and now they can get their sports scores on line.
  • While the number of newspapers (and readers) have fallen, the number of news sources has grown, including the internet, cable news, and radio. Maybe they should concentrate on giving straight news instead of op-eds made to look like reporting.
 If this legislation is enacted it is will do nothing for the country except expand the federal debt.

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