Accuracy in Media

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council isn’t surprised that President Obama is open to the idea of a newspaper bailout, but Perkins knows a bad idea when he hears one.

He led this week’s edition of his “Washington Update” with a newspaper bailout blurb headlined “Bad News Bores.” Perkins noted Obama’s contempt for new media outlets but also emphasized why those outlets are so important:

While it is not unusual for a president to seek favors for a constituency that overwhelmingly supported him, such a bailout would bring into question the partiality of the “mainstream media” even more. The president spoke in fear of the “blogosphere” being “all opinions, with no serious fact-checking, no serious attempts to put stories in context.”

First, it is always bad economic policy to reward outdated businesses that refuse to adapt. From Monica Lewinsky to Dan Rather it was the internet that broke the stories that “mainstream media” refused to. Additionally, it is online sources, including FRCAction’s own Cloakroom blog, that are keeping the debate over health care honest and as transparent as possible.

Under such scrutiny, it is no wonder that other leading Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., are also looking for ways to use federal tax dollars to bailout newspaper conglomerates. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees freedom of the press. It would be a shame if the media establishment gave away that freedom in exchange for a few coins.

Amen to that. But a few coins aren’t going to salvage the traditional media’s sinking reputation or deter the new media watchdogs who have been keeping them in check.

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