Obama open to newspaper bailout bill
The president said he is "happy to look at" bills before Congress that would give struggling news organizations tax breaks if they were to restructure as nonprofit businesses.
"I haven't seen detailed proposals yet, but I'll be happy to look at them," Obama told the editors of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Toledo Blade in an interview.
Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) has introduced S. 673, the so-called "Newspaper Revitalization Act," that would give outlets tax deals if they were to restructure as 501(c)(3) corporations. That bill has so far attracted one cosponsor, Cardin's Maryland colleague Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D).
One of the reasons he cited for bailing out the news media is because of concern over the rising influence of the blogosphere:
"I am concerned that if the direction of the news is all blogosphere, all opinions, with no serious fact-checking, no serious attempts to put stories in context, that what you will end up getting is people shouting at each other across the void but not a lot of mutual understanding,"
You can't make this up, he is concerned about "all opinions, with no serious fact checking and putting stories in context"...
So what do you think about this? Is there a concern with the federal government having control over the media by controlling it's tax-exempt status? Is this nothing more than a step towards state-run media? Is this Obama trying to control the message by supporting media friendly to him and working towards shutting down dissent on blogs?