We’ve talked already about how left-wing foundations are now pouring funds into failing newspapers. We saw that in the case of the Baton Rouge/New Orleans Advocate, which got itself good and larded up with a million dollars from the neocommunist Ford Foundation over the summer to fund “investigative journalism.” That was (1) a fraud, because the Advocate doesn’t appear to be hiring any new investigate journalists – this was just money to keep its current roster of hacks around; and (2) evidence, as we noted, that you might have signaled by canceling your subscription and refusing to buy single copies of that paper or even click on its website that you don’t value its brand of journalism, but that doesn’t matter.
The Powers That Be will impose it on you, like it or not. The newspaper business will now be protected from market forces, no matter how poorly it serves its market.
Well, now we know something even more obnoxious on this score. It turns out that the Build Back Better plan Joe Biden is doing his damnedest to drag through Capitol Hill will turn the federal government your tax dollars fund into the world’s largest left-wing foundation, and that foundation will now subsidize papers like the Advocate with your tax dollars.
If you click on Scalise’s tweet you’ll find the usual dross among the commenters; leftist scolds angry that Scalise voted for the Trump tax cut but won’t support free subsidies for local journalists.
The economic illiteracy of that is somewhat striking, of course – the tax cuts passed in 2017 were about lowering tax rates on income made within the marketplace. Meaning that somebody had to go out and earn money first by creating wealth in the economy, and then it was a matter of how much of that the government would siphon off to fund its operations.
This is about giving a tax credit to subsidize employment which the marketplace doesn’t support. It is supplying government funding to the local news business. That isn’t a semantic difference.
What it does is create federal government-funded media at the local level. It turns your local newspaper into Pravda. Not in a half-joking, snarky sense. In a real sense. If the government is providing local newspapers with subsidies, will those local newspapers criticize the government?
The answer is no, they won’t. Not in the sense anyone is accustomed to.
The good news is that it certainly looks like, in the aftermath of the Virginia elections, that this leftist monstrosity of a bill is bleeding momentum. The insane neocommunists berating Kyrsten Sinema in women’s bathrooms and at weddings in Arizona have now descended on Joe Manchin in a manner which looks like pure desperation and can’t possibly be persuasive, and just as their “advocacy” in Sinema’s case provoked the wrong reaction it’s hard to imagine this will be any different…
They’re acting like this is praiseworthy, when the most likely effect is to chase Manchin out of the Democrat Party altogether.
And to kill that spending bacchanal they’re trying to force through Congress.
Today we’ve got one more reason why that needs to happen. Federal money propping up and further corrupting a dying industry the market is attempting to leave behind is a bad idea which will lead to worse consequences. If these leftists want to prop up zombie newspapers like The Advocate so badly, let them subscribe to it.