Thursday, January 1, 2009

Bailout Mania

The latest chapter in the bailout saga, in which everybody gets to pick your pockets in the interest of saving the economy from people who selfishly won't spend money which, for some reason, they don't seem to have.
It's been quite clear to me from the beginning that the congress doesn't give a rats patootie if Detroit ever builds another car, ever again, as long as all those UAW folks continue to get paid, so that some percentage of their wages wind up in the DNCs re-election coffers. When a newspaper begins to whine, the sound carries to the statehouse quite clearly, and no one sees any problem with a Dem controlled administration subsidizing a paper that endorses its candidates.

Relying on government help raises ethical questions for the press, whose traditional role has been to operate free from government influence as it tries to hold politicians accountable to the people who elected them. Even some publishers desperate for help are wary of this route.

To my observation, the newspapers are seldom critical of a Democrat, especially if his party controlls the government, until he's safely in the joint and actually serving a sentence.

Government control of the media goes back to the FDR administration when Franklin effectively silenced Yankee Radio for criticizing his policies.

The first instance of serious and pervasive political censorship was initiated by Franklin Roosevelt’s FCC in the 1930s. The Yankee Radio network in New England frequently editorialized against Roosevelt. The FCC asked Yankee to provide details about its programming. Sensing the drift, Yankee immediately stopped broadcasting editorials in 1938. In order to drive its point home, the FCC found Yankee deficient at license renewal time. They announced,

Radio can serve as an instrument of democracy only when devoted to the communication of information and exchange of ideas fairly and objectively presented… It cannot be devoted to the support of principles he [the broadcaster] happens to regard most favorably… .

In other words, if you want your broadcasting license renewed, stop criticizing Roosevelt.

In the upcoming congress, there have been calls to renew the so-called "fairness doctrine" in an effort to silence criticism of the current administration, including Nancy Pelosi's "most ethical congress ever" . With an approval rating fluctuating between 9 and 11%, I gotta ask: "How's that going, Nancy?" Oh yeah, we just elected one of your Senators president, didn't we. Amazing what you can do with a 100% favorable rating from the press, isn't it?

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