President Reagan knew of whence he spoke, when he said, in 1986, “Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it”.
As his industry continues to cease motion, veteran newspaperman Steven Rattner has a list of solutions to that go from practical to increasingly off-the-wall when he reaches this conclusion:
Purchasing major newspapers would be costly and perhaps impractical, so a hybrid model may make more sense. We could create a pool of money (possibly from a license fee similar to how the BBC is funded). News organizations with an expensive but important project in mind could apply for funding, much the way producers in the public television world have for the last 40 years.
If it stops moving, subsidize it.
A government funded newspaper? I guess that’s one answer to my own question of where the media’s post-9/11 woes are taking them. And, as Rattner notes, we already have partially taxpayer-funded television and radio, (and a taxpayer-funded passenger railroad, space program, increasingly taxpayer-funded healthcare, etc.).
By calling The Washington Times “a kind of house organ for conservatives“, the obvious tacet implication of ABC’s Terry Moran is that its DC-based competitor is the competing house organ for liberals.
At least until Rattner’s National Public Newspaper ever gets off the ground.