Let me make my point clear. The reduction in circulation of newspapers across the country is not – I repeat NOT – a market-place failure. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) thinks the federal government will soon need to step in to support serious journalism currently on the brink of failure.
What is Waxman suggesting? Should the federal government provide a supplemental funding to prop-up the newspaper industry? Who would determine who gets the funding and who is left out? The free capitalist economic system works pretty well I think, but he’s not liking the failing circulation of the water-carriers for the left.
From Breitbart earlier today…
“The newspapers my generation has taken for granted are facing a structural threat to the business model that has sustained them,” said Representative Henry Waxman, a Democrat from California.
“The loss of revenue has spurred a vicious cycle with thousands of journalists losing their jobs,” he told a meeting on journalism in the Internet age hosted by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
You see, the Internet is the problem. Never mind there has been a complete cultural shift for everyone under the age of 45 towards the new media, bloggers, online news sites, news aggregators, and Twitter, the federal government needs to step in and save serious journalism!
Waxman does not have a plan, except for the fact he thinks the government is going to have to resolve the issue.
Without endorsing any proposals, Waxman noted various proposed remedies, including new tax structures for publishers, providing non-profit status, changing anti-trust regulations or eliminating a law that bars owning a newspaper and a television station in the same city.
Acknowledging that talk of government support for the press raises “red flags,” Waxman stressed it is not the job of Congress to “deny the evolution of media.”
But “as we look at these various solutions, government’s going to have to be involved in one way or the other,” he warned.
“Eventually, government is going to have to be responsible to help resolve these issues and our whole society depends very much on reaching some resolution of the problem.”
Uhh, no. Government eventually does not have to be responsible. The market is changing, the culture is changing and the entrepreneurs and really smart people that run businesses will figure out a model where they can deliver news and make a few dollars in the process.
Wasman also implies that we’re loosing a vigorous free press which is absolutely ridiculous. Less than 20 years ago, most people had access to three nightly news programs, two city newspapers (if they were lucky), one local “rag” and one AM radio news station.
Sweetness & Light has a picture of Waxman standing next to Arianna Huffington you just gotta see.
Update: Ed Morrissey at Hot Air has more.