Wednesday, 01 September 2010

Bailing Out Big Media?

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Bailing Out Big MediaThe creaking, decrepit mastodons of the Big Media are soliciting our sympathy — and our money. We must save them, they say, from extinction. For our own good, of course.

It is in our interest, they insist, to have enlightened politicians, federal bureaucrats, and officials at the Federal Reserve take billions from us in taxes and funnel that money to, say, the New York Times's Thomas Friedman, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, PBS’s Bill Moyers, or Fox’s Bill O’Reilly.

Lee C. Bollinger, the president of Columbia University, is one of those leading the charge for taxpayer-funded, socialized media, a campaign that has been gathering steam in the mastodon herd over the past year. On July 14, Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal provided Bollinger with generous space for an op-ed entitled “Journalism Needs Government Help.” The crux of his appeal was contained in the subtitle: “Media budgets have been decimated as the Internet facilitates a communications revolution. More public funding for news-gathering is the answer.”

“The financial viability of the U.S. press has been shaken to its core,” says Bollinger. “The proliferation of communications outlets has fractured the base of advertising and readers. Newsrooms have shrunk dramatically and foreign bureaus have been decimated.”

“The institutions of the press we have inherited are the result of a mixed system of public and private cooperation,” says Bollinger. “Trusting the market alone to provide all the news coverage we need would mean venturing into the unknown — a risky proposition with a vital public institution hanging in the balance.”

Bollinger is a big fan of socialized media, praising Communist China’s “news” agencies, as well as the British BBC and our own PBS and NPR. “Ironically,” he notes, “we already depend to some extent on publicly funded foreign news media for much of our international news — especially through broadcasts of the BBC and BBC World Service on PBS and NPR.”

Bollinger continues:

To me a key priority is to strengthen our public broadcasting role in the global arena. In today’s rapidly globalizing and interconnected world, other countries are developing a strong media presence. In addition to the BBC, there is China’s CCTV and Xinhua news, as well as Qatar’s Al Jazeera....

This system needs to be revised and its resources consolidated and augmented with those of NPR and PBS to create an American World Service that can compete with the BBC and other global broadcasters. The goal would be an American broadcasting system with full journalistic independence that can provide the news we need. Let’s demonstrate great journalism’s essential role in a free and dynamic society.

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Ah yes, let’s consider the “free and dynamic society” engendered by the “full journalistic independence” and “great journalism” of CCTV and Xinhua news. How many investigative stories have they done on the ongoing communist persecution of Christians, Muslims, and Falun Gong in China? How many have they done exposing Beijing’s ongoing policies of genocide in Tibet? How many editorials criticizing the Beijing regime’s brutal one-child policy or its extensive censorship of the Internet?

As for the vaunted BBC, to take just one example, consider how slavishly it has flogged the “global warming” hysteria for years, refusing to give coverage to the wide array of world-renowned scientists that dissent from the Al Gore “climate crisis” thesis. And how did BBC deal with exposure of the “Climate-gate” e-mail scandal at East Anglia University’s Climatic Research Unit last year? Well, it has since come to light that BBC knew about the e-mails before other media did, but had suppressed them. To compound its culpability, over the past months the BBC has given only spotty, grudging coverage to this hugely important issue and, for the most part, has continued to push its “crisis” bias, the corollary to which is that we need global government controls over all human-generated CO2. Which means, of course, government controls over all human activity.

Bollinger’s appeal for a Mussolini-style public-private cartelized media is more fully explicated in his book, Uninhibited, Robust, and Wide-Open: A Free Press for a New Century, published by Oxford University Press this year — to rave reviews and beaucoup favorable media coverage, naturally. Yes, the title and the content are an incredible, oxymoronic mismatch — like dry water or socialist free enterprise. But Bollinger’s message resonates with the higher powers who seek to transform America. Within days after his WSJ editorial paean to the fascist-socialist-corporatist media model, Bollinger was voted in as chairman of the board of directors of the New York Federal Reserve, the lead bank in the Federal Reserve System that has been fanatically pushing the fascist-socialist-corporatist model for all sectors of our economy.

Big Media has been the handmaiden to Big Government for decades. Now that the Internet and independent media are challenging the statist game plan, Big Media and Big Government are desperately seeking to formally legitimize their longstanding illicit affair.