Jewish World Review Sept. 21, 2010 / 13 Tishrei, 5771
And Now Government Press
By Paul Greenberg
It had to happen. At a time when we've seen the birth of
It takes nerve to suggest that the way to preserve a free press -- the very phrase connotes a press free of government -- is to have government get into the news-and-opinion business. With your money, naturally, Gentle and much abused Taxpayer.
Under such a proposal, newspapers that accepted public funds would no longer be allowed to run their own editorials, at least openly. They'd have to do what
The advocates of ever more government may not have noticed that
This year's record for chutzpah, which might be loosely defined as nerve to the nth degree, may have been set by the CEO of
How's that for gratitude? We the (taxpaying) People bail out his failing company, but it irritates him to acknowledge it.
Sir, there was a simple way to avoid being labeled
A close runner-up in this Chutzpah Derby was
You may remember AIG. How could anyone forget it? It was at the center of the bubble that went bust during the Great Financial Panic of 2008-09, sharing billing with those evil twins,
That giant insurance company had to be bailed out because it was trading in credit default swaps without sufficient collateral. Now that it's been rescued by the government -- that's you and me -- its CEO regularly complains that the new financial rules adopted to protect the markets against another such collapse are too restrictive. Why, they could force his company to raise enough capital to cover its bets in the derivatives market. Like that's a bad thing. This guy sounds like chutzpah personified.
Another entry in the Chutzpah sweepstakes is
Those doomsayers of the last century failed to take into account the innovative spirit of Americans when facing new challenges. Much as
The masterminds who propose a
As an example to follow, President Bollinger thinks the British system is just dandy, complete with its requirement that the public be obliged to support the
Mr. Bollinger can't see that the Internet has moved the press back to the uninhibited, robust and wide-open days of the founding fathers, when anyone with a printing press could publish his own news and opinion, advertisements and manifestos. Today they may be bloggers, or, as one outraged and outdated TV executive called them, guys sitting in their living room in their pajamas. And occasionally taking down an imperious
The little people are definitely getting out of hand when they start exposing American journalism's leading pomposities. What's worse in
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JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.
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