Liberty and Licenses
Oh, no. We’re being drowned — in alternatives.
Remember the good old days, with three choices for national broadcast news, Walter Cronkite and whoever the other guys were? Plus the local paper and the New York Times? Sure, there were other avenues. But if the big boys happened to have a unitary government-approved perspective on something, you could battle uphill for years with hardly anyone noticing your particular flag.
Then cable arrived. The Internet. Zillions of webzines and blogs. If you want an alternative to whatever the Official View is, you don’t have to look very far or for very long. It’s harder for the powers that be to burble baloney unchallenged.
Big, big problem, all this competition, right?
It is according to Michigan State Senator Bruce Patterson. He wants to license journalists the way Michigan licenses plumbers and hair dressers.
From what I can tell, the state can’t be trusted with protecting us from bad hair cuts, let alone tell us who’s best suited to toot out the news. But Patterson says we’re being overwhelmed by all the media outlets. Poor us! So we need guvmint — which always puts the truth first, of course — to tell us good reporting from bad.
Think about this: The traditional job of journalism is to provide a check on lying politicians. Now politicians will vet those who get the privilege to criticize them?
Patterson, we’ll take a pass.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.