You’ll be paying for news you can use, even if you have no use for it, if a Democrat Congressman has his way.  From Reuters, U.S. bill seeks to rescue faltering newspapers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – With many U.S. newspapers struggling to survive, a Democratic senator on Tuesday introduced a bill to help them by allowing newspaper companies to restructure as nonprofits with a variety of tax breaks.

“This may not be the optimal choice for some major newspapers or corporate media chains but it should be an option for many newspapers that are struggling to stay afloat,” said Senator Benjamin Cardin.

…Cardin’s Newspaper Revitalization Act would allow newspapers to operate as nonprofits for educational purposes under the U.S. tax code, giving them a similar status to public broadcasting companies.

Under this arrangement, newspapers would still be free to report on all issues, including political campaigns. But they would be prohibited from making political endorsements.

How kind of Big Brother, letting the press be free to report.  What about reporting on people or organizations that make political endorsements?  Is that allowed?  And who decides what a political endorsement is?  The IRS?  Oh, yes, we want the IRS monitoring political speech.  Nothing could possibly go wrong with that.  The tax code could never be used to punish, could it?

If you’re thinking the paper will be free of charge, think again:

Advertising and subscription revenue would be tax exempt, and contributions to support news coverage or operations could be tax deductible.

That deduction will make up for the $400 tax credit you won’t be getting.

Priorities:

Because newspaper profits have been falling in recent years, “no substantial loss of federal revenue” was expected under the legislation, Cardin’s office said in a statement.

So it’s okay to transform the free press into a government-subsidized, government-monitored entity then.    It won’t cost the government anything.  That’s a relief.  What it will cost us is another matter and is above the Congressman’s pay grade.

It’s for the children, or Mother Earth, or something:

Cardin’s office said his bill was aimed at preserving local and community newspapers, not conglomerates which may also own radio and TV stations. His bill would also let a non-profit buy newspapers owned by a conglomerate.

Thereby spreading its freedom-killing tentacles throughout the entire information industry.  It won’t hurt a bit.  You won’t even notice.

“We are losing our newspaper industry,” Cardin said. “The economy has caused an immediate problem, but the business model for newspapers, based on circulation and advertising revenue, is broken, and that is a real tragedy for communities across the nation and for our democracy.

Then let the market fix it.  No sir, the tragedy is that you’re turning newspapers into government propaganda machines that will kill our democracy.

We only have ourselves to blame:

Newspaper subscriptions and advertising have shrunk dramatically in the past few years as Americans have turned more and more to the Internet or television for information.

This idea needs to die a painful death.

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