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Dy’er Sez: Although I do rely on the print media (or the web version of the same) for the majority of my news consumption, the idea that the President is even thinking about bailing out news-papers makes me wonder if the man is even thinking at all. From a technological stand point, it’s like saying that we should bail out the companies that make the crank-style ignition starters for model T Ford’s – they employ very few people, cater to  a small market, and have not kept up with technology.

One would think, considering that Obama is a supposed Constitutional scholar, that he should be the first to recognize that any undue governmental influence over the news media will have an adverse effect on what stories are reported…or not reported (just take a look at the 24 hour TV news for a prime example); such a bail out would be a big ‘no-no’ to anyone interested to seeing a free press survive in our country.

But the most disturbing facet of this story is this quote from the president:

“I am concerned that if the direction of the news is all blogosphere, all opinions, with no serious fact-checking, no serious attempts to put stories in context, that what you will end up getting is people shouting at each other across the void but not a lot of mutual understanding,”

Really, Mr. President? Just taking my piddly little blog as an example, every story I post or comment about is referenced (numerous times within the same story, in some cases), fact checked (as a general rule of thumb, I will not post a story that doesn’t have at least three corroborating reliable sources), and the context in my commentaries are based on stories which run parallel to the one that I have posted, based on a previous track record of the subject, or use history itself as a context for modern going-ons.

Additionally, the vast majority of the blogs I frequent use my standards as a bare minimum for their posts. And not to toot myself on the back, but considering that CNN seems to get a great deal of its news from Twitter (when the protests in Iran became massive, CNN continuously used Twitter as their prime – at times, only – source for what was going on there) and blogs which have an obvious slant and spin (like the Huffington Post or the Cato Institute),or some half-assed-so-called ‘expert’ or political strategist as the only source for a story (which is not a story, but an editorial…two vastly different things), I find that my fact checking (for which I am NOT getting paid for, garnering millions of viewers, nor getting accolades ) is generally more thorough.

 If I did have the opportunity, like our TV press does, to ask serious questions of the people who shape the power structure of our country and world, I certainly would not throw out soft ball questions in a seeming attempt to ‘go along to get along’ in order to retain my press pass and paycheck, and quell the public’s curiosity and potential outrage.

And as for people ‘yelling at each other across the void’, perhaps you have forgotten, Mr. President, that that very thing is the reason we have a 1st amendment – just so people are able to voice their opinion with no fear of government (or personal) retaliation or interferance for their ideological beliefs. Maybe you’re just a little unsettled because a great many of those shouting voices are aimed angrily in your direction at the moment.

Most of all that you see on the TV news is nothing more than commentary or spin on what started out as legitimate news stories. Find me ONE block of news time on CNN, MSNBC, or FOX that does not color it’s reporting with some agenda or another…go ahead, I’m waiting. No? None? OK, let’s continue.

All that being said, I can only think of three reasons why the president would make such a comment: first , that is intentionally trying to marginalize that the ‘blogosphere’ has been (and continues to) calling the politicos out on their BS, catching them with their {expletive deleted} in the proverbial cookie jar over and over again; second, trying to find some sort of justification for this bail out which would, in effect, cast a giant shadow in the shape of D.C. over the remnants of the free press; or third, that the first president to successful integrate the internet into his campaign, really has a slim understanding of what is going on out here on the web. Perhaps it’s a mixture of all three.

Story from the Business Insider:
Obama: We Need To Bail Out Newspapers Or Blogs Will Run The World
by Yael Bizouati

Obama yesterday expressed concern at the sorry state of the news industry and said that he will look at a news paper bailout, because otherwise, blogs will take over the world, and that would be a threat to democracy, The Hill reports.
“I am concerned that if the direction of the news is all blogosphere, all opinions, with no serious fact-checking, no serious attempts to put stories in context, that what you will end up getting is people shouting at each other across the void but not a lot of mutual understanding,” he said.
He said he would be happy to look a bills that could give tax newspapers tax-breaks if they were to restructure as 50 (c) (3) educational corporations.  One of the bills is that of Senator Ben Cardin, who has introduced the “Newspaper Revitalization Act


This entry was posted in Civil liberties/rights, Commentary, Corruption, Free Speech, Government, Internet, Media, Police State, Politics, Privacy and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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