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Shocker: Now Newspapers Want A Bailout

From a highly approving Reuters:

Government aid could save U.S. newspapers, spark debate

Wed Dec 31, 2008

By Robert MacMillan – Analysis

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Connecticut lawmaker Frank Nicastro sees saving the local newspaper as his duty. But others think he and his colleagues are setting a worrisome precedent for government involvement in the U.S. press.

Nicastro represents Connecticut’s 79th assembly district, which includes Bristol, a city of about 61,000 people outside Hartford, the state capital. Its paper, The Bristol Press, may fold within days, along with The Herald in nearby New Britain.

That is because publisher Journal Register, in danger of being crushed under hundreds of millions of dollars of debt, says it cannot afford to keep them open anymore.

Nicastro and fellow legislators want the papers to survive, and petitioned the state government to do something about it. "The media is a vitally important part of America," he said, particularly local papers that cover news ignored by big papers and television and radio stations.

To some experts, that sounds like a bailout, a word that resurfaced this year after the U.S. government agreed to give hundreds of billions of dollars to the automobile and financial sectors…

The state’s Department of Economic and Community Development is offering tax breaks, training funds, financing opportunities and other incentives for publishers, but not cash…

The lifeline comes as U.S. newspaper publishers such as the New York Times, Tribune and McClatchy deal with falling advertising revenue, fleeing readers and tremendous debt.

Aggravating this extreme change is the world financial crisis. Publishers have slashed costs, often by firing thousands in a bid to remain healthy and to impress investors…

Many media experts predict that 2009 will be the year that newspapers of all sizes will falter and die, a threat long predicted but rarely taken seriously until the credit crunch blossomed into a full-fledged financial meltdown.

Some papers no longer print daily, and some not at all.

Even as industries deemed too important to fail are seeking bailouts, most newspaper publishers have refused to give serious thought to the idea, though some industry insiders recounted joking about it with other newspaper executives…

Former Miami Herald Editor Tom Fiedler said that a democracy has an obligation to help preserve a free press.

"I truly believe that no democracy can remain healthy without an equally healthy press," said Fiedler, now dean of Boston University’s College of Communication. "Thus it is in democracy’s interest to support the press in the same sense that the human being doesn’t hesitate to take medicine when his or her health is threatened." …

Marc Levy, executive editor of the Herald and the Press, said he would not let gratitude get in the way of reporting on local political peccadilloes.

"It’s the brutal reality," he said. "You’d say, ‘thank you very much for helping me with that, but now we have to ask you about this thing.’"

Oddly enough the usually thorough (we jest) folks at Reuters neglected to give Mr. Nicastro’s party affiliation.

Do you even have to ask? Of course he is a Democrat.

Naturally, the New York Times is also in favor of bailing out newspapers. They ran an editorial two days ago hilariously entitled: “When The Watchdogs Don’t Bark.”

They weren’t even being ironic.

(Thanks to Flession for the heads up.)

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, January 1st, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

30 Responses to “Shocker: Now Newspapers Want A Bailout”

  1. proreason says:

    If the Slimes gets tapayer money, it might drive me over the cliff.

    Avoid Post Offices and McDonalds if you live within 100 miles of my location.

  2. Flession says:

    Funny thing about this situation was I was constantly joking about this with my friends.

    …it isn’t funny anymore >_>

  3. BigOil says:

    “Former Miami Herald Editor Tom Fiedler said that a democracy has an obligation to help preserve a free press.”

    Just how can a government supported newspaper be considered free press? America is not Venezuela…yet.

    • 1sttofight says:

      Maybe everyone should just forward all their bills to congress and let them worry about paying them.

      You know that aint a bad idea. Blank out all your personal data and send a copy to congress. Cover them in a blizzard of paper.

  4. pinandpuller says:

    The media watchdogs wouldn’t bite the hand that feeds them would they?

  5. JohnMG says:

    ….“When The Watchdogs Don’t Bark.”….

    That’s hilarious!! Are they finally admitting to being the ‘sons-of-bitches’ I’ve always known them to be?


  6. DGA says:

    “Former Miami Herald Editor Tom Fiedler said that a democracy has an obligation to help preserve a free press.” Yep, it’s called the internet these days. Why in the hell should we, the taxpayer, give our hard earned money to those biased, socialist, muslime loving bastards?? So they can call the shots on the next time B.Hussein obama wants to fraud his way into the next election?? And, you just KNOW that the democrats will go for this, just you wait.

  7. Icarus says:

    With all these bailouts… reparations may be just around the corner!

    In light of all these bailouts; it would surly sound way more rational and humanitarian.

    A bailout of the marginalized and the discriminated – the descendants of former slaves… makes sense.

    …Using this twilight zone philosophy of today!!!!

    Of course I’m kidding… but one never knows……..LMAO

  8. Icarus says:

    LOL… I hadn’t even seen the article below!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. wardmama4 says:

    Former Miami Herald Editor Tom Fiedler said that a democracy has an obligation to help preserve a free press.

    What chance do we have when these people can’t even see the insanity of using democracy and free press in a sentence about the government’s (?!? – how can an institution have an obligation) involvement in a private enterprise?

    Enough is enough – these guys set up a ‘financial crisis’ to insure The One ™ got elected (since he couldn’t win on his speechifying alone, certainly couldn’t win on his national security policies and with ACORN being exposed even before the election -there was the possibility that stealing the election might not work) and the ‘financial crisis’ worked so well that they are now about nationalizing all sectors of American business.

    If you all think that unions (take a look – education, airlines and the auto industry) were bad for American business – just think of what Congress will do to them.

    I am for the blitzing them with copies of all our bills – asking them to ‘bail’ us out too. Make a point that the insanity has to end before they destroy America and her future. Not that they care one single whit at all. It is their goal. And that is what is frightening.

  10. Liberals Demise says:

    ditdaditditdaditdit…………Moscow……Tass News Agency is stating that the American newspapers are asking the former Soviet Regime policy makers how it ran a government owned paper for profit. A key Kremlin communist leader (who spoke without revealing his name for fear of death penalty) said,”Nyet…Vee not run pepper vor rubbles, vee run pepper vor party line. I vedy much like your Rambo movies!! bang bang…..Sly make me laff.” My sources say this isn’t over as we are on the verge of annointing the “Second Coming” Jan 20 in Washington, D.C…….more on this story as it developes.

  11. Confucius says:

    Let the DNC bail them out. Or maybe tax the politicians’ recent windfall salary raise.

    Don’t let the papers die! I need the kitty litter!

  12. sheehanjihad says:

    speaking of bailouts…..can you imagine what you and your family could do if each and every one of you received 5000 dollars to spend on things you actually need? That’s about how much the “bailouts” are going to cost us, the taxpayers.

    I firmly believe that if every man woman and child in the country were given that kind of money, and it was spent in 2009 in the REAL economy, benefiting businesses and creating an atmosphere of jobs and less personal debt, that would do so much more to solve the “problem” that the democrats manufactured and executed to gain power.

    We, not the government nor undeserving companies that lose billions because their business head’s are still buried in the sand, WE the American people could jump start this economy in far less time than any bailouts to corporations could achieve, and everyone would be much better off.

    The only losers would be Congress, because there would be no way they could attach their “pork” to cash incentives to the population, thus the money from lobbyists and Soros couldnt be paid back for services rendered.

    That, plus the fact that giving us the money to spend on things we need makes incredible sense, but having no control over it means the Government will never ever do the right thing…instead, they will spend our money on things they neither need nor want to satisfy the greed of their owners….and we will suffer as a result.

    • proreason says:

      SJ, it may be 5k per family, but it will be much more per taxpayer, since 40% of tax filers don’t pay taxes at all.

      But even that grossly understates the cost of what has happened in this country.

      The “bail-outs” are so far estimated at about 4.8 Trillion Dollars. The Stock Market has gone down 6.9 Trillion Dollars (just in 2008). Home Value have declined about 30%, which is (I’m guessing here) another 8 Trillion Dollars. Round it to 20 Trillion (and it could get worse).

      Wikipedia says there are 138 million taxpayers, but that number probably includes filers who don’t pay. To make it easy, call it 100 million taxpayers.

      The math, my friend, says that the average taxpayer’s wealth will decline on average $200,000, courtesy of Barney Franks, Obamy and your government which, of course, has your best interests at heart, even though no congressman or senator has ever suffered a day of unemployment, or taken a penney pay cut.

      But many who read this web-site will lose more than that, since no doubt the average tax burden of readers here is above average.

      Now you may say you won’t have to pay a lot of that (home devaluation, etc.), but it’s a loss of wealth to the country and you, whether or not you ever have to reach into your pocket.

      And if Obamy starts printing money to hide the burden, it will be worse, because printing money increases inflation, which is the cruelest tax of all.

      And that doesn’t count job loss, which I seem to recall is impacting you, SJ, directly.

      This is the gift directly from government officials who make hidden, unilateral decisions, without your knowledge or approval. For example, making a decision to force banks to make loans to people who can’t pay them back. Or perhaps, giving hundreds of billions to car manufacturers who make cars people won’t buy so that UAW workers can make 20% more money than workers at companies that do make cars people will buy.

    • sheehanjihad says:

      unfortunately proreason, you are, yet again, spot on. And my employment outlook is so bleak I may have to live in a TDY situation somewhere else in the country until things pick up.

      I never did like that obamy none….but the Congress….I dont want to get deleted again, so everyone just fill in the blanks…..They, the Congress… are _____________ers!

    • proreason says:

      Barney Franks is happy as a clam.

      He says it’s all BushHitler’s fault. According to Barney, all he ever did was help people buy houses.

      But isn’t it amazing that after 60 years of being the most conservative industry in the world, mortgage bankers woke up in unison one day in the 90’s and decided to loan trillions of dollars to deadbeats. I often wonder why they did that, since they almost all went out of business and lost untold sums of money. Some have now committed suicide. In another amazing coincidence, at the same time, Barney Franks and Obamy were suing banks to comply with the Community Reinvestment Act, and assuring the world that home mortgages were the safest investment in the world, despite the fact that Fannie Mae appeared undercaplitalized by 1000%. According to Barney, there just isn’t any relationship between those factors.

      But seriously, what you are personally experiencing (and me too) is the best example this country has ever had of the danger of Big Government. (of course, Russia, China, Cuba and other countries have even better examples)

      The principle is so simple that any school child can understand it. When a country has 5,000 businesses, a bad decision by any one of them might hurt some people, but it can’t destroy the country. But when the Government makes a decision that impacts say, millions of home buyers, then it CAN destroy the country.

      And it doesn’t matter how well-intentioned people are. Liberals are always very well-intentioned and generous with other people’s money. Federal decisions are huge, the RISK is huge, and the potential harm is huge.

      THAT is why Big Government is the biggest enemy this country has. It is filled with ego-maniacs like Barney and Obamy who love playing god. And by the way, our government was designed to prevent just that. It’s called Federalism with Enumerated Powers. Of course, gods Barney and Obamy ignore the constitution. It has “fatal flaws”. Specifically, the fatal flaw they see is that the Constitution prevents idiiots like them from wielding sufficient power to destroy millions of lives.

      Barney and Obamy put you out of work, diminished millions of lives including my own, and cheated this country out of 20 trillion dollars. They are the biggest economic criminals of all time.

      And they are just getting started.

  13. NC Cop says:

    Let Obama bail them out. They all work for him anyway!

  14. Anonymoose says:

    The trouble is newspapers were already dying, Internet news has been kicking their tail for years and circulation has been in a free-fall. Why bother trying to save an industry that was already obsolete?

  15. 1sttofight says:

    Eat your heart out Detroit.

    UAW had absolutely NO PART in building this car.

    Bugatti Veyron: World’s Fastest Production Car (407 kmh)

    Video, Absolutely Awesome.


  16. Colonel1961 says:

    Curiouser and curiouser. I mean, really, WTF? Can a bad newspaper that is run by an idiot really qualify for a bailout?

    I made a mistake in life – I stayed small. I should have been too big to fail…

  17. U NO HOO says:

    In a way, HDTV bailed out Television….or not?

    Comments please.

    Who ever thought some little old lady, or man, without cable and with a good antenna would have to buy something else to get free TV? But that’s OK because the guvmint will subsidize the digital convertor box.

    Happy days be here agin!

    • cjokry says:

      That’s true, although not too many people noticed. Cable television has tons of lobbying power; that’s why the antitrust suit isn’t going anywhere. It would mean that cable companies have to offer to sell you just the channels you want instead of selling you bundles that include a ton of channels that many people find offensive or boring. And let’s face it, what Ted Turner has done to cable TV is the definition of a monopoly, especially since digital conversion.

      But at least cable TV is useful and relevant, unlike the newspapers which have basically all been failing ever since the internet showed up, and now they’re trying to get a bailout, cuz, hey, everyone else is doing it.

  18. Steve says:

    “that’s why the antitrust suit isn’t going anywhere. It would mean that cable companies have to offer to sell you just the channels you want instead of selling you bundles that include a ton of channels that many people find offensive or boring.”

    But this was a top priority for the Democrats when they won Congress in 2006. What happened?

  19. VMAN says:

    1sttofight had a good suggestion. Let’s all start sending our bills to Washington and when the creditors call say we forwarded it to Washington and you should be getting payment any day. Seriously though if enough people sent either copies or if possible actual bills to Washington that would be a great campaign.

  20. Steve says:

    “Seriously though if enough people sent either copies or if possible actual bills to Washington that would be a great campaign.”

    Certainly the US taxpayer must be too big to fail.

  21. sheehanjihad says:

    This is slightly off topic, but germane to the issue.

    What is ironic is that dinosaur newspapers drowning in self inflicted red ink are demanding a governmental bailout, and there is news that the F-22 Raptor, the generations ahead undefeatable air superiority fighter is going to be cut from the budget!?

    Saving something that is years past it’s prime as a believable news organization that serves only as the forum for democrats and their masters, yet giving the Russians a much needed boost in achieving technological parity in because someone says that newspapers are more important? WTF?

    Our Nation’s print media has been more instrumental in destroying our country than the Russians could ever have dreamed possible…..so we finally have an aircraft that is generations ahead of the rest of the world, and more importantly, they cant afford the technology even if the NY Times printed the schematics for it, which they would in a heartbeat, with the owner’s manual to boot. We can. That was part of the program.

    Remember Carter and the B-1? The Russians were petrified of it’s capabilities, and breathed huge sighs of relief when Comrade Carter canceled it so we would look like “nice guys” to the rest of the world. Obamy is going to do the same thing, and the edge we enjoyed will evaporate more quickly than his lack of will to fight .

    • proreason says:

      “Our Nation’s print media has been more instrumental in destroying our country than the Russians could ever have dreamed possible”

      Good point SJ, but you can bet the Russians did dream it and are instrumental in making it happen.

      They got nukes and most of their advanced technology through spies.

      The Slimes is better at spying than the Rosenbergs, and more loyal to Russia as well.

  22. big spike says:

    Marc Levy, executive editor of the Herald and the Press, said he would not let gratitude get in the way of reporting on local political peccadilloes.

    “It’s the brutal reality,” he said. “You’d say, ‘thank you very much for helping me with that, but now we have to ask you about this thing.’”

    sure, you betcha…they’re already the democrats’ little lapdogs…once they have their hands in the taxpayers’ pockets, NOW they’re going to start barking???? what i want to know is, who’s going to be the ‘news czar”…axelrod? maybe chris matthews?

  23. Grassy Knoll says:

    Well, it’s over. The New York Times now has advertising on the front page. This was once sacred ground to all papers. I remember in my newspaper editor days back in the 90s we were in a cash crunch due to paper costs, so we decreased the size of the broadsheet. We did not advertise on the front page. Principles for sale – cheap.

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