Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A nice steaming cup of coffee to go along with our nice steaming pile of Pravda every morning

If Congress is going to force Detroit into making cars that aren’t yet market-viable and which may not even be good for the environment in return for taxpayer largesse, then what’s in store for a bailout of newspapers? You scoff? It’s already here, Mac.

Seven legislators from the area served by The Bristol Press and The Herald in New Britain today wrote to the state Department of Economic and Community Development to ask for its help in preventing the closure of the newspapers.

And this:
The Bristol Free Press and the Herald in New Britain are owned by the financially troubled Journal Register Company of Yardley, Pennsylvania. Now, Connecticut's Governor and Attorney General say they want to help keep the papers going. Governor M. Jodi Rell and Richard Blumenthal have said they would be interested in taking part in a bipartisan effort to save the papers.

Yep, they went there. It’s getting to be anymore that the clearest thin-slicing indication that a maneuver by elected officials is a guaranteed piece of crap is when the “b”-word is used.

Its encouraging to see the noble 4th estate grovel and amazingly in this letter to the DECD the state legislators point out that, ya know, having a newspaper cover all the wonderful ethics legislation we’re trying to pass, like…. campaign finance reform! (the federal version of which exempts news outlets from restrictions on opining on candidates) is needed so our “independent” and “free press” can dither on unchecked about the wonderfulness of their benefactors, er, elected officials. Or else?

About as shameless a plea for boosterism as we can imagine.

Bailouts of the banks, insurance firms and of potentially the Detroit 3 anger us at both pragmatic and ideological levels. A potential bailout of a newspaper(s), however, strikes a more fundamental constitutional chord about the role of government with respect to a free and independent press and its clear from the letter linked to above that the politicians involved have not a clue as to where that line is drawn.


Steve Collins said...

Nobody is seeking a newspaper bailout in Connecticut. Read my blog at to understand what's really going on.

Dean said...

Steve, thanks for stopping by and thanks for commenting.

It is not for me to opine on why no one reads the Herald or the Press any longer to the degree by which their doors would stay open.

Unfortunately, given the state of affairs in this country, presently... when state legislators go to an "Economic and Community Development" board and ask it to see what it "can do to help" (in a hopelessly self-serving manner, I might add), the warning flags go up.

And because of this, the onus is on the legislators and those championing "help" to demonstrate to the taxpayers that "help" does not mean their tax dollars. I suppose only time will tell on that account.

Hey, I did read your blog... not all six of them - even I don't have that much time.

Again, thanks for commenting and forcing me to give the circumstances a second look.

Rj said...

Newspaper bailout eh? At this point, every industry that has been bailed out or is seeking a bailout has submitted to some sort of nationalization or government control. A government sponsored newspaper is just a very scary thought. If this continues, we'll be seeing the illuminati liberals turning this into a socialist state yet.