The LA Times Needs to be Subsidized

I was skeptical when Michelle Malkin and others talked about the government bailing out Big Media and/or otherwise aiding them. It still might not happen, but that drumbeat seems to be getting louder. From today’s Los Angeles Times:

“…the government has found countless ways to encourage or subsidize journalism, including the Federal Communication Commission’s requirement that broadcasters cover the news as a condition of obtaining a license. Today, we need to think anew about how government can ensure that citizens get the information they need and want.”

~ Geneva Overholser and Geoffrey Cowan, “Free Press, with Profits”

The italics above are my own. I wanted to stress the delusion still rampant among the Big Media because it cuts to the heart of the problem: they are suffering financially, in a large part, because they DON’T supply the information citizens need, and they haven’t for decades. In fact, in the last election I believe the media crossed a line between liberal bias and outright liberal propaganda. The Los Angeles Times and the NY Times ran almost daily assaults on McCain and Palin, while completely avoiding and/ or glossing over anything that would make Obama and Biden look bad. That is the information citizens can’t live without…liberal propaganda?

Of course, as is typical, they wrap themselves in the American flag (presumably not the one with Obama’s face and logo printed on it) as they wallow in their hardship:

“It’s clear that journalism is in crisis, and in the current recession, things are likely to get much worse.

That’s alarming. A robust press is vital to our democracy.”

Maybe it’s just me, but I think our democracy would go on just fine–probably better–without the daily assaults on conservative political views from the Big Media. Apparently it is just me because they go on to talk about how vital it is to have…

“…independent reporting that gets to the bottom of what’s happening in Iraq and Afghanistan, in Israel and Gaza, in Washington, on Wall Street and at city hall.”

The problem is, I already know in advance what their “independent” reporting will uncover at most of these places, which calls into question, once again, its independence:

1) Iraq and Afghanistan: Hopeless, unnecessary disasters that are turning our troops into murderers when they return home.

2) Israel and Gaza: Israel is evil and has no right to defend itself against the rockets from its peaceful neighbor, Hamas, in Gaza.

3) In Washington: Obama is the Second Coming and we should all drop what we are doing to sing his praises.

4) On Wall Street: The free market is a hopeless failure that can only succeed if Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Barack Obama rush in to regulate and socialize it beyond recognition.

5) At city hall: Alright, you got me. I don’t know what’s going on at city hall, but if I had to guess, it involves brave liberals fighting evil conservatives.

If there’s a silver lining in all of this it’s that, if liberals do throw Big Media a lifeline, it will at least force them to acknowledge their symbiotic relationship in an official capacity. And why not? The “stimulus” plan coming out sends truckloads of taxpayer money to every other liberal pet project, so might as well be consistent and include the media too.

Link to article: http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-overholsercowan19-2009jan19,0,3602336.story