Poor old-media dinosaurs! The “news profession,” so assailed by the fact checkers, bias detectors and distortion documenters hailing from the Internet and other new tech, suffers under the scourge of unexpected competition.
What to do . . . aside from apply troubling degrees of ingenuity, conscientiousness and hard work?
Writing for the Wall Street Journal, Lee Bollinger, Columbia University president and free speech “expert,” says the answer is “more public funding for news-gathering. . . .”
It’s very exciting. Under Bollinger’s plan, even more of your tax dollars will be diverted to support media outfits whose lucubration you don’t support voluntarily! Joy!
For Bollinger, past unconstitutional interference with media provides ample warrant for more. In the ’60s, the Supreme Court sanctioned government-compelled coverage of “public issues” and provision of “equal time,” even though it could have “limited government involvement simply to auctioning off the airwaves and letting the market dictate [sic] the news.”
It’s unclear why advocates of pushing people around so often make this precedent-worshiping argument. It’s as if some tyrant were to say, “There’s already well-established precedent for my beating up and killing innocent people. So why not expand and codify the process?”
Hey, maybe something’s wrong with the media-bullying precedents? And something right with the First Amendment? Perhaps today’s overdue media ferment would have happened earlier absent government fostering of media behemoths.
How about dropping the shackles and subsidies and letting Americans make our own choices about which media to patronize?
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.