Sunday, May 17, 2009

Anti-Conservative Media at Taxpayer Expense

We already have PBS and NPR, supported by taxpayer funds, to blare liberal viewpoints and slants across the fruited plain. Yet, seemingly, that's not enough for some people. The coming demise of the newspaper industry has liberal groups calling for taxpayer funding of news organizations, all of which would, of course, lean left.

The group, which calls itself Free Press, is urging "an alternative media infrastructure, one that is insulated from the commercial pressures that brought us to our current crisis."

However, Free Press didn't say one word about the well-documented liberal bias that has contributed to the decline in readers and viewers for traditional media outlets and has enabled the rise of the Fox News Channel, conservative talk radio, and the Internet. Instead, Josh Silver of the Free Press attacked the "bellowing ideologues" on the air and declared that "The entire dial is empty of local news in many communities."

This was a tip-off that, in order to take conservative radio hosts off the air, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will be flooded with complaints that "local news" has been shortchanged by stations airing conservative personalities with national programs such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin and Michael Savage...

As part of the proposed new "media infrastructure," Free Press is calling for a $50 billion "Public Media Trust Fund" to underwrite the creation of new jobs for journalists and the use of the existing federal AmeriCorps program "to include journalistic activities as part of its mission" in the form of "journalism positions" and "journalism projects." AmeriCorps is a federally-funded national and community service agency.

The group is also urging a direct federal bailout of liberal media institutions, declaring that "The Department of Labor could design a program aimed at keeping reporters employed at existing news organizations or at new outlets." Free Press explains, "If the government were to subsidize 5,000 reporters at $50,000 per year, the cost would be $250 million annually, a relatively modest sum given the billions coming out of Washington."

Don't you love it when $250 million is a "relatively modest sum"? Nowhere does Free Press talk about the fact that taxpayers have to support these projects or that just maybe, they might have other ideas about how their tax money should be spent, rather than throwing it away on leftwing journalists with an agenda. This isn't even addressing the idea of paying $50k a year per journalist, as if most people consider that to be a "modest sum."

The Left still hates the rise of conservative talk radio and the success of Rush Limbaugh and others in gaining audiences. Unlike the left, which needs your tax support to work, conservatives have offered a message in a format that people have been willing to pay for (through audience share, which drives advertising rates). Why should we be forced to pay even more for media we neither want nor need?