Dems propose a billion-dollar subsidy for local newspapers (that overwhelmingly support Dems)
If you think media bias is bad now, wait until Dems start shoveling money at the media in outright subsidies. What are the odds that small government points of view will get any attention then?
Subsidies for local newspapers, which are at least as biased against conservatives and Republicans as the rest of the 90% of the media that is progressive, are on the Dems' agenda. Chuck Ross reports in the Washington Free Beacon:
House Democrats are offering more than $1 billion in subsidies to local newspapers as part of a massive spending proposal released this week, even as polls show record levels of distrust in the media.
The $3.5 trillion spending plan includes up to $25,000 in payroll tax credits for each journalist on a local newspaper's payroll. The carve-out will cost $1.3 billion over the next decade, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation. (snip)
The proposal is nearly identical to the Local Journalism Sustainability Act, a bill introduced earlier this year by Sens. Maria Cantwell (D., Wash.), Ron Wyden (D., Ore.), and Mark Kelly (D., Ariz.). In addition to payroll tax credits, the senators proposed a $250 tax deduction for subscriptions to local newspapers.
In my experience, local newspapers, which mostly employ younger and cheaper journalists than bigger papers, are even more biased than the New York Times or WaPo. Their heads filled with propaganda in J-schools, the youngsters seek attention and maybe even a job offer from the industry's bigger fish by supporting what they (correctly) perceive as the norms of the industry: make conservatives look evil and stupid, and make progressives and Democrats look heroic.
In point of fact, the public does not trust newspapers, which is reason enough to deny them subsidies:
Just 21 percent of Americans said they had "great confidence" in newspapers, according to a recent Gallup survey. Only television news, big business, and Congress had lower confidence ratings.
Some years ago, I had a conversation with a Swedish official of the conservative Sweden Democrats, who told me that our media bias was nothing compared to that in his own country, where the government heavily subsidizes newspapers. He complained that crimes committed by Muslim immigrants get just about zero attention from the media, despite their proliferation in recent years. It is well known that the government does not want such news to get out, and a press dependent on subsidies is not about to displease the government.
Of course, it must be noted that governments already subsidize our media through paid advertising. On the national level, the federal government spends about $1 billion on advertising, according to a Government Accounting Office report.
In addition, states and local governments spend on advertising. In California, I can't find a total, but it is notable that the state outspent the feds four to one when it came to advertising for Obamacare enrollment.
Photo credit: Easolo public domain.
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