In her last article for the LA Times before going to work for the Pentagon advisor for the Obama Administration, Rosa Brooks said the only way for the press to survive so that they can keep government in check is for the government to bail them out.
Please, someone give Ms. Brooks a drug test. She must be on something.
She seems to fail to realize that the great majority of people are usually reluctant to bite the hand that feeds them. As we have seen with AIG and GM, the government will ultimately exercise their ability to control what companies do and who is hired and fired by being able to have the power of the pursestrings over the companies. Therefore, if newspapers and journalists rely on the government for their salaries and survival, they will be less likely to say anything bad about the government because of the fear of losing funding or jobs.
It would give the government too much power over the press. It would bring an end the freedom of the press, at least for the ones that were bailed out. There is a reason why the freedom of the press was in the first amendment in the Bill of Rights. It is one of the cornerstones needed to keep free society like our own free. The government would be able to bury any story that would air their dirty laundry and affect their chances of getting re-elected.
A great example is when Rod Blagojevich tried to blackmail the Tribune Co., which owns the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Cubs. Hot Rod refused to give them any "f'n" money for Wrigley Field unless they would get rid of certain "A-holes" that wrote pieces that expressed their unfavorable opinions of the "damn" former Illinois governor and his policies.
If Rod was able to exert this kind of pressure on the paper and almost succeed with indirect control of a company's money flow, imagine what those corruptable officials in government could do with direct control of their money flow. Our newspapers would devolve into just being a mouthpiece for whoever is in charge in Washington. Our press corps would start resembling cheerleaders much like the press in dictatorships with state-run media in Venezuela and N. Korea have turned into with their coverage of the "Dear Leaders". Then again, the way the papers have covered "The One we've been waiting for" maybe they're already cheerleaders anyway, but at least they have a choice to be a cheerleader or not. If the papers are bailed out, they won't have a choice.
Brooks: "Some might say I have a 'new job,' but because I'll be escaping a dying industry -- and your tax dollars will shortly be paying my salary -- I prefer to think of it as my personal government bailout."
Does she not realize that one of the main reasons why the industry is "dying" is because of hacks like her that distort the truth to promote her own liberal agenda as she did here.
By the way, is it discomforting to anyone else that my tax dollars are going to pay her salary now, or is it just me?
In response to her piece, Ed Morrissey of Hot Air had some major disagreements with her spotty at best theory. First of all, "it’s a myth that faulty reporting led to the war; Democrats and Republicans both used the same intel and gave the same answers on Iraqi WMD, as did all of the Western democracies. The intel was wrong, a problem that better reporting would not have solved."
He, also, rightly debunks her claim that the media was supportive of the Iraqi invasion in 2003. He goes on to wonder if papers were dependent on the Bush Administration would they do a better job of holding him accountable than one independent.
Let me get my magic 8-ball.
I agree with Ed to a certain extant about Brooks' view on the absurdity of equating the government's role in the newspaper industry to its role in roads and schools. Roads are definitely something that the government should control. Although, I'm not totally sold on the idea that the government should have such a huge role in the school system. They've run our schools into the ground. Why let them keep control of it ? Also, I believe that they shouldn't have so much control over what is taught to our kids especially in relation to evolution and other controversial subjects.
A newspaper bailout as Brooks presents it is a horrific idea. It'll just be another step towards socialism a la Venezuela.