Now the FTC has released a white paper about "reinventing journalism." That's right, the .gov has come right out and expressed interest in "reinventing" one of the very things with which they are Constitutionally prohibited from diddling. They have no more business "reinventing" journalism than they do reinventing religion, or ordering you to put the Third Armored Division up in your guest bedroom for the night.
Of course, it's been a long time since the Bill of Rights was seen as anything other than a soft and absorbent thing by Congress; something prime time television DA's skirt with a wink and a nod so that they can more efficiently catch the bad guys.
So where will the Journalism Stimulus money come from? Well, in addition to borrowing it from the Chinese or just printing it out of thin air, the paper examines additional sources of funds it can use to prop up failing newspapers:
In one section, the FTC looks at licensing the news: having ISPs levy a fee on us that the government then dolls out to its selected news purveyors — call that the internet tax. It’snothing but a tax and it would support incumbents surely. In another section, it examines the aforementioned iPad tax; a tax on the broadcast spectrum; a spectrum auction tax; a tax on ISPs and cell phones; and a tax on advertising (brilliant: taking a cut of the last support of news in America).Actually, Mr. FTC, for the services that Big Media provided for your boss, it's more customary to just leave a twenty on the bedside table.