Yes, it was but something being joked about, what, a mere few weeks ago.
But, as Beck might say, we are seeing the “concretizing of the eventuality.”
What am I talking about? Why, the socialization of the media, and by socialization I’m not talking about encouraging it not to get into fights on the playground:
In a new Nation essay, â€œThe Death and Life of Great American Newspapers,â€ the authors bring their earlier work to its logical conclusion. Saving journalism, they argue, essentially requires that media become an appendage of the state. Journalism, they claim, is a â€œpublic good,â€ whichâ€”like education and defenseâ€”requires constant government oversight and support: â€œA moment has arrived at which we must recognize the need to invest tax dollars to create and maintain news gathering, reporting and writing with the purpose of informing all our citizens.â€ They propose that government devote $60 billion to â€œsubscription subsidies, postal reforms, youth media and investment in public broadcasting.â€ Think of it as a â€œfree press â€˜infrastructure project,â€™â€ they say. â€œIt would keep the press system alive. And it has the added benefit of providing an economic stimulus.â€ (Isnâ€™t it amazing how everything stimulates the economy these days?)
And think about how important it would be — if these newly subsidized newspapers should show ingratitude to the feeding hand — to find them in violation of something in the codebook and take the subsidy, or the newspaper itself, away. But that would never happen. What the hell am I talking about.
Would I dare complain if the Stalinpaltz Gurgling-Fellator,* our beloved and absolutely essential local newspaper, climbed on the subsidy life raft to survive?
* Yes, my latest name for the New Paltz Times.