“It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into”

Jonathan Swift
"The Democrats have moved to the right, and the right has moved into a mental hospital." - Bill Maher
"The city is crowded my friends are away and I'm on my own
It's too hot to handle so I gotta get up and go

It's a cruel ... cruel summer"

Saturday, February 21, 2009

problem: the horse has already left the barn solution: stuff the barn with public money

............................Piles of unread newspapers. (Michigan Daily)

I have way mixed feelings about this (also here). Both articles are a bit vague on where the endowment ($5 billion for the New York Times alone) would come from, but, in the current economy, it's hard to imagine it coming from anywhere but the federal government. On the one hand, call me Grover (Norquist, not the muppet), but my knee jerks against the idea of the U.S. government having a state-owned media, its own personal Pravda.1 On the other hand, the news media hasn't really been independent anyway since the newspapers and the television stations all became subsidiaries of the corporate megaliths. On the third hand, I'm dubious whether the newspapers are worth saving. For example, Kamiya makes a big deal about field reporting-- but field reporting has been dying since the eighties. The world is already the "less known place" he fears. On the fourth hand, the partially publicly-funded media that already exist-- PBS and NPR-- do actually do a better job of reporting (with fewer resources) than the mainstream media. On the fifth hand, I barely read newsprint anymore. I read even the Amarillo Indy online (though I do pick up a couple of copies at Market Street, figuring that will somehow help George with his advertisers. I promptly drop them in the recycling bins.) On the sixth hand, I...uh...do the crosswords. When I'm really bored.


1Yes, I wrote that. This isn't the fake Spacedark. Here, maybe this comment will help: didn't we bitch about excessive government control of Fox News throughout the Bush years?