According to Jeffrey Jarvis of the NY Post, FTC staffers speculated that an iPad tax would be needed to pay for subsidies, expemptions and copyright law enforcement. According to Jarvis, who testified to the FCC and the FTC, the government may explore these new interventions in the name of saving such failing news sources as the New York Times, the Washington Post and other antiquated print news sources:
* Expanding copyright law and restricting the doctrine of fair comment to benefit legacy publishers.
* Granting antitrust exemptions to allow publishers to collude on pricing to consumers and to business partners.
* Giving news organizations tax exemptions.
* Subsidizing news organizations by increasing government funding to public broadcasting; establishing an AmeriCorps to pay reporters; giving news companies tax credits for employing journalists; creating a national fund for local news, and giving the press an increased postal subsidy.
They want to start a government run journalistic new organization called AmeriCorps! What is this Great Britain? If you allow the state to run the media, we will only hear what the state wants to hear. Another socialist idea from our newly elected socialist government.
Instead of making the taxpayers pay for a state run news organization in a failing industry, the newspaper and print media industry, media outlets need to look for better internet distribution of their journalistic product. News agregators like the Drudge Report are just one way of getting eyeballs. Another is to write stuff people like to read so new aggregators will want to aggregate your work.
Nationalizing any media is a slippry slope that will only lead to a far worse product, produced by not the most highly qualified, but rather the most highly connected individuals. You want to kill journalism? Then nationalize it.
“Most dangerous of all,” according to Jarvis, “the FTC considers a doctrine of ‘proprietary facts,’ as if anyone should gain the right to restrict the flow of information just as the information is opening it up. Copyright law protects the presentation of news but no one owns facts — and if anyone did, you could be forbidden from sharing them. How does that serve free speech?”
Let traditional media die a slow death on it’s own. We don’t need no stinken government telling us what to write or read. Keep your mits off the most important government check and balance, the free media.
In closing, Jeff Jarvis testified to both the FTC and the FCC, “Get off our lawn.” That didn’t make it into the report, nor was it reported by the failing traditional media. How Absurd? Not really.
Here’s more absurdity: