In a de facto admission that anti-trust laws are business-killers, she wants the Justice Department to ease off anti-trust actions to help a newspaper survive.  Pelosi goes to bat to keep Bay Area papers alive

In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, released by Pelosi’s office late Monday, the San Francisco Democrat asked the department to weigh the public benefit of saving The Chronicle and other papers from closure against the agency’s antitrust mission to guard against anti-competitive behavior.

“We must ensure that our policies enable our news organizations to survive and to engage in the news gathering and analysis that the American people expect,” Pelosi wrote.

How does she want the Justice Department to help?  By changing the definition of competition:

In the carefully worded letter, Pelosi urged the Justice Department to take a broader view of media competition in the Bay Area. Rather than seeing The Chronicle’s main competitors as other newspapers, she urged the department to consider television and Internet media sources and online advertising outlets as competitors as part of any future antitrust review.

A more expansive view of competition could smooth the way for future discussions of a merger or a consolidation of advertising, distribution and other business operations between The Chronicle and the Bay Area News Group, which owns the San Jose Mercury News, the Contra Costa Times and the Oakland Tribune. Hearst has a nearly one-third stake in the non-Bay Area papers of MediaNews, the Denver chain that owns the Bay Area News Group.

…”This is consistent with antitrust enforcement in recent years under both Republican and Democratic administrations. And the result will be to allow free market forces to preserve as many news sources, as many viewpoints, and as many jobs as possible.”

So, removing legal obstacles helps create and keep jobs?  Start applying that thinking to the rest of the market, Nancy, and you’ll be on the right track.

Update:

Scrappleface fleshes out the story:

With Tuesday marking the end of print publication for the 146-year-old Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and with her own local newspaper facing a similar fate, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned that failing papers could spark catastrophic overpopulation among trees.

“The primary role of newspapers for the past 50 years or so has been to control the tree population,” said Rep. Pelosi, D-CA. “Without street editions of these papers, we’ll see unchecked multiplication of the worst sorts of pulp-producing species.”

Rep. Pelosi said she would soon introduce legislation to fund the “extraction and elimination” of saplings to prevent rampant overcrowding of global forests.

More at the link.

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