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And, there it is! Journalist stimulus subsidy tucked away in infrastructure bill

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The $3.5 trillion “infrastructure” package being pushed by the White House, by congressional Democrats, and by their media allies contains a subsidy for “local news” outlets that critics warn would complete the media’s transition into “state-run media.”

The bill would specifically permit “local news” outlets to collect a tax credit subsidy for every “journalist” they employ.

The credit would be “equal to 50%” of each journalist’s salary in the first year but reduced to “30%” going forward, with a cap of $12,500 per quarter, or $50,000 total per year. That’s a lot of money.

The one stipulation is that the outlet must be a “local newspaper publisher” that serves “the needs of a regional or local community and who employs no more than 750 employees.”

In other words, national behemoths like CNN ostensibly wouldn’t be eligible. Or would they?

The stipulation “leaves plenty of room for interpretation,” the editorial board of The Wall Street Journal warned Thursday.

“Will the Washington press corps be lining up for credits? Where does that leave nonprofits like ProPublica that are financed by wealthy left-wing donors? How about Breitbart, the Daily Caller, or anyone who sets up a Substack newsletter?” the board wrote.

But of even greater concern is what effect the federal government’s money would have on journalism itself, according to Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson.

“Not only is this proposal a grotesque waste of taxpayer money, it would be a dangerous precedent of government collusion with the media. Biden’s collusion with the press has already caused enough damage to freedom of speech and freedom of the press,” he warned in a recent statement to The Washington Times.

Indeed, Adam Guillette, the founder of the conservative media watchdog group Accuracy in Media, is certain that the subsidy would only make the already biased media even more corrupt.

“How could we ever trust journalists to accurately cover the elected officials who voted against their funding? How can you ‘speak truth to power’ when you’re also pleading with that power for cash?” he warned in an op-ed this week for The Daily Signal.

“Which news outlets would get the funding, and which would be snubbed? Any pretense of objectivity would be destroyed once the media is on the federal payroll,” he added.

In response to the proposed stimulus, AIM has launched the following petition:

(Source: Accuracy in Media)

“And if you think the media is already hostile to conservatives, libertarians, Christians, business leaders, southerners, and basically anyone who didn’t love Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s, D-N.Y., dress from the Met Gala, just imagine the disdain they’ll show us once they’re funded by tax dollars. Also imagine the press coverage of any politician that dares to oppose renewing—or increasing—their funding,” Guillette’s op-ed continues.

Some among the public are equally confident that, if passed, this stimulus would complete the mainstream media’s transition to “state-run” media.

Look:

It’s likely no surprise that some of the most biased members of the mainstream press are in love with the proposal.

“Congress may be about to help local news. It can’t happen soon enough,” The Washington Post’s media columnist, Margaret Sullivan, wrote last month.

She was among the prominent media figures who called for a coronavirus stimulus of up to $5 billion for “journalists” during the early days of the pandemic.

All this comes amid the public’s trust in the media falling to record low rates.

By January, the public’s trust had dropped to 46 percent, with a 58 percent majority of Americans believing “most news organizations are more concerned with supporting an ideology or political position than with informing the public.”

A 56 percent majority of Americans also admitted to believing that “journalists and reporters are purposely trying to mislead people by saying things they know are false or gross exaggerations.”

Vivek Saxena

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