Newspaper Bailouts May Merge Media and Government

So much for the “objective” media. Whatever shred of dignity which was left will surely be diminished if media companies also begin begging for their share of the pork pie.

WorldNetDaily sheds light on the next disaster waiting to happen under Obama:

Floundering media and news conglomerates have expressed interest in accepting government bailout money, leading some to object, arguing that strings attached to federal funds will subvert our nation’s freedom of the press.

Brent Bozell, president of the media watchdog organization Media Research Center, contends that if a news company – even a bankrupt one – accepts taxpayer money, it can no longer be trusted to hold government accountable to the people.

“How in the world can [a] paper propose to be a watchdog for the public when it’s had conversations about being bankrolled by the government?” Bozell asked in The Philadelpia Bulletin.

“When a media outlet proposes a bailout, it proposes to put itself under the authority of the entity bailing it out,” Bozell said. “Therefore, if it’s a government, the media entity proposes to become an arm of the government.”

Bozell was reacting to news that the publisher of both the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News has been in discussions with Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell about a potential government bailout of Philadelphia Media Holdings, the company that owns the newspapers.

“If newspapers are to play the vital role they do in a democracy,” said Philadelphia Inquirer publisher Brian Tierney, quoted in his own paper, “then they cannot be put into a special line where they alone stand barred from receiving the economic development dollars that are available to every other business in the state.”

Reuters reports a similar situation in Connecticut, where State Rep. Frank Nicastro, D-Bristol, petitioned the state government to step in and help save The Bristol Press and The New Britain Herald after their parent company accumulated hundreds of millions of dollars in debt, though the papers have since been purchased by a new owner.

And as the nation’s largest news conglomerates face increasing, startling losses, some worry that these major corporations may turn to the federal government, much as banks and the auto industry have. But at what cost?

Sure it’s just a handful of papers listed here, however, that could grow tenfold if failing media companies smell pork coming their way in difficult economic times.

You can darn sure bet that any newspaper which takes government money will be much less likely to keep that government in check. How could these newspapers possibly keep an eye on government spending when they themselves are guilty of taking taxpayer money?

Thus the morphing of media to the Obama administration continues since it began during the campaign. We have NBC/MSNBC which is basically the state-run news agency already and they’re doing so badly they’ll undoubtedly need some cash as well, I’m sure Obama will oblige since they cover him everyday.