Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. US Housing Market Real Estate Crash The Next Shoe To Drop – Part II - Chris_Vermeulen
2.The Coronavirus Greatest Economic Depression in History? - Nadeem_Walayat
3.US Real Estate Housing Market Crash Is The Next Shoe To Drop - Chris_Vermeulen
4.Coronavirus Stock Market Trend Implications and AI Mega-trend Stocks Buying Levels - Nadeem_Walayat
5. Are Coronavirus Death Statistics Exaggerated? Worse than Seasonal Flu or Not?- Nadeem_Walayat
6.Coronavirus Stock Market Trend Implications, Global Recession and AI Stocks Buying Levels - Nadeem_Walayat
7.US Fourth Turning Accelerating Towards Debt Climax - James_Quinn
8.Dow Stock Market Trend Analysis and Forecast - Nadeem_Walayat
9.Britain's FAKE Coronavirus Death Statistics Exposed - Nadeem_Walayat
10.Commodity Markets Crash Catastrophe Charts - Rambus_Chartology
Last 7 days
Stock Market: "Relevant Waves Vs. Irrelevant News" - 10th Jul 20
Prepare for the global impact of US COVID-19 resurgence - 10th Jul 20
Golds quick price move increases the odds of a correction - 10th Jul 20
Declaring Your Independence from Currency Debasement - 10th Jul 20
Tech Stocks Trending Towards the Quantum AI EXPLOSION! - 9th Jul 20
Gold and Silver Seasonal Trend Analysis - 9th Jul 20
Facebook and IBM Tech Stocks for Machine Learning Mega-Trend Investing 2020 - 9th Jul 20
LandRover Discovery Sport Service Blues, How Long Before Oil Change is Actually Due? - 9th Jul 20
Following the Gold Stock Leaders as the Fed Prints - 9th Jul 20
Gold RESET Breakout on 10 Reasons - 9th Jul 20
Fintech facilitating huge growth in online gambling - 9th Jul 20
Online Creative Software Development Service Conceptual Approach - 9th Jul 20
Coronavirus Pandemic UK and US Second Waves, and the Influenza Doomsday Scenario - 8th Jul 20
States “On the Cusp of Losing Control” and the Impact on the Economy - 8th Jul 20
Gold During Covid-19 Pandemic and Beyond - 8th Jul 20
UK Holidays 2020 - Driving on Cornwall's Narrow Roads to Bude Caravan Holiday Resort - 8th Jul 20
Five Reasons Covid Will Change SEO - 8th Jul 20
What Makes Internet Packages Different? - 8th Jul 20
Saudi Arabia Eyes Total Dominance In Oil And Gas Markets - 7th Jul 20
These Are the Times That Call for Gold - 7th Jul 20
A Reason to be "Extra-Attentive" to Stock Market Sentiment Measures - 7th Jul 20
The Beatings Will Continue Until the Economy Improves - 6th Jul 20
The Corona Economic Depression Is Here - 6th Jul 20
Stock Market Short-term Peaking - 6th Jul 20
Gold’s Major Reversal to Create the “Handle” - 5th July 20
Gold Market Manipulation And The Federal Reserve - 5th July 20
Overclockers UK Custom Build PC Review - 1. Ordering / Stock Issues - 5th July 20
How to Bond With Your Budgie / Parakeet With Morning Song and Dance - 5th July 20
Silver Price Trend Forecast Summer 2020 - 3rd Jul 20
Silver Market Is at a Critical Juncture - 3rd Jul 20
Gold Stocks Breakout Not Confirmed Yet - 3rd Jul 20
Coronavirus Strikes Back. But Force Is Strong With Gold - 3rd Jul 20
Stock Market Russell 2000 Gaps Present Real Targets - 3rd Jul 20
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) Big Pharma Stock for Machine Learning Life Extension Investing - 2nd Jul 20
All Eyes on Markets to Get a Refreshed Outlook - 2nd Jul 20
The Darkening Clouds on the Stock Market S&P 500 Horizon - 2nd Jul 20
US Fourth Turning Reaches Boiling Point as America Bends its Knee - 2nd Jul 20
After 2nd Quarter Economic Carnage, the Quest for Philippine Recovery - 2nd Jul 20
Gold Completes Another Washout Rotation – Here We Go - 2nd Jul 20
Roosevelt 2.0 and ‘here, hold my beer' - 2nd Jul 20
U.S. Dollar: When Almost Everyone Is Bearish... - 1st Jul 20
Politicians Prepare New Money Drops as US Dollar Weakens - 1st Jul 20
Gold Stocks Still Undervalued - 1st Jul 20
High Premiums in Physical Gold Market: Scam or Supply Crisis? - 1st Jul 20
US Stock Markets Enter Parabolic Price Move - 1st Jul 20
In The Year 2025 If Fiat Currency Can Survive - 30th Jun 20
Gold Likes the IMF Predicting a Deeper Recession - 30th Jun 20
Silver Is Still Cheap For Now - 30th Jun 20
More Stock Market Selling Ahead - 30th Jun 20
Trending Ecommerce Sites in 2020 - 30th Jun 20
Stock Market S&P 500 Approaching the Precipice - 29th Jun 20
APPLE Tech Stock for Investing to Profit from the Machine Learning Mega trend - 29th Jun 20
Student / Gamer Custom System Build June 2020 Proving Impossible - Overclockers UK - 29th Jun 20
US Dollar with Ney and Gann Angles - 29th Jun 20
Europe's Banking Sector: When (and Why) the Rout Really Began - 29th Jun 20
Will People Accept Rampant Inflation? Hell, No! - 29th Jun 20
Gold & Silver Begin The Move To New All-Time Highs - 29th Jun 20
US Stock Market Enters Parabolic Price Move – Be Prepared - 29th Jun 20
Meet BlackRock, the New Great Vampire Squid - 28th Jun 20
Stock Market S&P 500 Approaching a Defining Moment - 28th Jun 20

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

AI Stocks 2020-2035 15 Year Trend Forecast

WSJ Wants Government Subsidies for Mainstream Media

Politics / Mainstream Media Aug 19, 2010 - 08:43 AM GMT



Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleJeff Harding writes: I almost choked when I read Lee Bollinger's op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal advocating public financial support of the mainstream media. This is the Lee Bollinger who is the president of Columbia University and was recently named deputy chair of the New York Federal Reserve Bank. The article says more about the writer and the mainstream media than it does its subject matter. It is unbelievable and irresponsible that anyone in his position should seriously advocate subsidies for the press.

What Bollinger is saying is that he wants us to pay for news from journalists he thinks we should read, not what we think we should read. As a law professor he is an expert in first-amendment issues. If he is an expert then he is the exemplar of the problem with scholarship and intellectualism in America today. He obviously distrusts our ability to make choices about the news we wish to read; he is eager to supplant our judgment with his. If he believes that forcing us to pay for news services we don't want is the key to constitutional freedoms and freedom of the press, then we are in trouble because he is in a position to do something about it.

He frames the debate in these terms:

We have entered a momentous period in the history of the American press. The invention of new communications technologies — especially the Internet — is transforming the human capacity to speak, perhaps as monumentally as the invention of the printing press in the 15th century. This is facilitating the largest and fastest expansion of global economic growth in human history. Free speech and a free press are essential to a dynamic economy.

At the same time, however, the financial viability of the U.S. press has been shaken to its core. The proliferation of communications outlets has fractured the base of advertising and readers. Newsrooms have shrunk dramatically and foreign bureaus have been decimated. My best estimate is that there are presently only a few dozen full-time foreign correspondents from the U.S. covering all of China, despite the critical importance of that nation to our future.

Let me translate what he is saying — competition thrives because of new media, yet because newspapers and television journalism have failed to innovate and keep up we must subsidize them, because their reporting is (was) better. He cites NPR, PBS, and BBC as the ideals of journalism. The common theme is that these services are all supported by government. Further, he suggests, we need, as an instrument of foreign policy, to compete with China's CCTV and Xinhua News, and Qatar's Al Jazeera. If the BBC is the standard, then I urge you to actually listen to it as it drones on about what is happening in the UN or Mali today.

Bollinger believes that press freedoms and government support are compatible, not antithetical. If anything in history is obvious, it is the fragility of freedom of the press. Of course, this is something Jefferson and Madison fully understood when they thought they nailed down press freedom forever. As we know, the limitations of the Constitution were breached from the very beginning, as Federalists sought to centralize power. While Wickard v. Filburn is not the only example, it is one of the most egregious cases. It removed the limitations of federal power over almost all commercial activity, because the case defined almost everything as "interstate commerce." It also established the principle that what the government pays for it can regulate. Subsidies would open the gate wide to assaults on press freedoms.

When you think about Bollinger's argument, he is turning the Fourth Estate into a public utility, a service deemed good for society that we must subsidize, direct to hire more foreign correspondents, and force to be "fair" in its reporting as most broadcast media. This is a phony argument and a direct assault on freedom of the press. As one wag said in the Journal article's commentary page, "Article translation: 'We have to give tax money to CBS to help fight Rush Limbaugh and Fox News.'"

Bollinger proves that the government is out to get the media it doesn't like. He says,

Both the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission are undertaking studies of ways to ensure the steep economic decline faced by newspapers and broadcast news does not deprive Americans of the essential information they need as citizens. One idea under consideration is enhanced public funding for journalism.

Bollinger is like an artifact left over from the New Deal, when centralization of federal control over all aspects of the economy was in vogue (as in the National Recovery Act). He actually seems to despise press freedoms by advocating subsidies for mainstream media, which is truly a slippery slope toward total government regulation. He distrusts market competition and he distrusts you and your ability to make choices about what information you wish to receive. He is a dangerous man.

I think I serve a valuable service by giving my readers a fresh, innovative view of the economy. Don't I deserve a subsidy, Professor Bollinger?

Who is so wise as to know what is good for all of us?

Jeff Harding is a real-estate investor and former lawyer in Santa Barbara, California. He is a principal of Montecito Realty Investors, LLC. He also was financing director of a home builder. He writes the blog the Daily Capitalist. See Jeff Harding's article archives.

© 2010 Copyright Ludwig von Mises - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

© 2005-2019 - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


23 Aug 10, 07:49

Too true.

The BBC exhorts a license fee from every owner of a television set in Britain. In effect we are charged to listen to or watch naked propaganda, misinformation and blatant lies. It is a tax in all but name and should be strongly resisted.

Who owns the mainstream media? Could we be told please who is feeding us crap? In the case of the BBC, it is partially funded by the EU (impartial? LOL), and captive taxpayers.

The mainstream moguls who would like to mindwash everybody fear they are losing traction and are setting their sights on the internet. Be warned.

Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules