Thursday, May 14, 2009

When government owns the press

Life is full of ironies.

I remember the grand days of the GOP, when Reagan stated so astutely that “Government is not the solution to our problems; Government is the problem.” For a wonderful period of time afterward, the fashion was to reduce government, and by the end of the Clinton era, the Democrat President and the Republican Congress and Senate had reduced government enough that we actually had a budget surplus.

After the September 11th attack, however, the Republicans suddenly forgot their roots and decided that we needed new bureaucracies to “keep us safe”. That was the first irony. The pendulum began to swing in the opposite direction, heralding a return to the era of big government. The ultra-liberal Obama administration is taking this to its orgiastic conclusion, and we now see a promise of massive, intrusive government, massive spending, and massive debts. Oh, and of course, massive taxes to pay for it all.

We’re informed that “It’s patriotic to pay taxes.”
Then we are told that “higher taxes will stimulate the economy because the government won’t have to borrow so much, there will be more private capital available for investment, so interest rates will go down.”
“All this government spending will stimulate the economy and we will see record growth,” they promise.
“We have no intention of running the automobile industry,” said the Obama administration, as they “rescued” the company, declared that they owned it, fired the executives, cut their advertizing budgets in half, gave majority stake to the Unions that did not own sufficient stock to warrant this gift, and violated the constitutional protections of the shareholders by bullying them in the bankruptcy negotiations.
“We don’t want to nationalize the banks,” they soothed, while gobbling up one after another, controlling their boards, refusing to allow the banks to repay the money, and tinkering in their internal policies.

But now we have some great news to celebrate. Washington State has approved a bailout of its newspapers! Yes, it’s true. And isn’t it glorious?

No, they won’t be actually giving the papers money. You see, in these challenging times, the Seattle Times can’t compete with online news sources. They are going to collapse, just like the Rocky Mountain News and others before them. Sound the bugles, the liberals have come riding over the hills with—irony number two—a 40% tax cut.

Wait a minute. Aren’t tax cuts the hallmark of Republican policies?

Well, why stop there? As Conservatives have been saying, if you want to stimulate the economy, cut corporate taxes! Don’t stop with the newspapers, cut the taxes on the auto industry! Cut taxes on the medical industry! Reduce the costs of doing business and watch how they grow.

The flip side of the tax cut for the newspapers is something that should alarm us all. I heard a radio commentator state that the newspapers should never be given “government money”. In reality, they are not being given “government money”, but rather are being allowed to keep a greater share of their own money. But the perspective is clear: they are being given “government money”.

If a newspaper receives money from the government, how can it possibly continue to be an independent watchdog of those same politicians that gave them the funds?

I’m sure we will be calmed with promises that “we have no intention of owning the newspapers, controlling their content, or restricting their editorials.”

And we would believe them because they have already demonstrated their noble intentions with the auto and banking industries.

If anything, we already were witness to the voluntary prostration of the news media to the socialist agenda during the 2008 elections. We are witness to their continued unwillingness to ask tough questions of Dear Leader Obama. We see how they verbally berate, assault, insult, and malign conservatives, invoking accusations of treachery, vulgar references to oral sex, and misogynist denigrations of innocent women who dare to express their values.

So why should we be concerned that these same papers are now accepting bailout bucks from the socialists?

Go back to sleep, people. There is nothing to see. Venezuelan caudillo Hugo Chavez has already closed down opposition channel RCTV, forcing them to broadcast from Colombia, and now promises a “little surprise” as he prepares to shut down the last free television network, Globovision.

But that would never happen here. This is America. OK, sure, Chavez is a socialist, and Obama is a socialist, but Obama is a nice guy. We can trust Dear Leader with our freedoms.

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