According to Henry Waxman (D-CA), it’s time for the government to step in to bail out the failing newspaper industry. This has been in the works for a while – after all, the government bailed out the banks, and the auto industry, giving handouts to their union allies all the while, so it was only a matter of time before they decided that the newspaper industry is “too big to fail.”
According to Waxman, the “depression in the media sector is not cyclical, it is structural.” Wouldn’t that imply that a government bailout wouldn’t help anything over the long term? Of course, they aren’t just talking about throwing money at failing newspapers, they’re talking about offering tax breaks and even possibly allowing newspapers to be classified as non-profit organizations, as well as loosening up media ownership regulations for newspaper publishers (on a side-note: if loosening up regulations will help the newspaper industry, isn’t it possible that it will help in other areas of the economy, such as health care?).
This is absolutely, totally, and disgustingly predictable. When conservative talk radio succeeds, all we hear from liberal politicians is the need for government-regulated “fairness” on the airwaves. When the liberal media fails, though, it’s up to the government to step up and save them.
Henry Waxman is right: newspapers are facing a structural failure. The problem with newspapers is that they are antiquated, fast being replaced by internet news. Waxman speaks of his worry that the failure of the newspaper industry will result in “the loss of an informed public.” The truth is that the internet provides people to much more information every day than newspapers ever could, and the internet allows opposing viewpoints to be heard much more than newspapers ever would.