Whitney White-Ashley

I just read a story from Fox News that made my heart stop. Los Angels Times columnist turn Obama administration member Rosa Brooks publicly voiced support for a government-regulated press in exchange for bailout dollars.

To be honest, I never truly liked the idea of government bailout plans. From J.P. Morgan handing out cash on the stock market floor before the Great Depression to the initial bank bailouts last year - throwing money at a problem doesn’t fix anything, it only gets more expensive.

In March, GM CEO Rick Wagoner stepped down from his post of nine years at the “request” of the Obama administration. He said he did so because he felt his departure was in the best interest of the company. Personally, I think hiring or firing a CEO should be left up to the board members, but that’s the problem with bailouts.

Last year alone, GM received 17.4 billion taxpayer dollars, which means they should be held accountable to taxpayers. The White House is an extension of the public as its elected representative. I agree with that so far. But my problem is that the government has no place in a private corporation. If taxpayers don’t support a company, they simply stop buying their product. It’s called a free market. The same rules of competition apply to newspapers.

I relish the First Amendment and I can’t tell you how ecstatic I am that we have our own microcosm of a free press and free market right here in Glen Rose.

But Brooks feels that only a government bailout can save the struggling newsprint industry. If we follow the logic behind the ousting of Wagoner, that means the government will have more of a hand on the “free press” than it does already. Brooks suggests that tax dollars could be used to grant licenses to journalists “in ways that encourage robust and independent reporting.”

In the same article, Brent Bozell with Media Research Center is quoted in opposition to Brooks.

“Since when did our Founding Fathers envision that…you could exercise your freedom of speech provided you had a license from the federal government? This is the kind of stuff you have revolutions about,” Bozell said.

Oh wait - we did that already.