By Lee Williams
Joe Biden has found a way to guarantee positive news stories from legacy media reporters. He wants to help pay their salaries, despite the ethical questions this would raise.
Gun owners and anyone else who don’t want to lose their civil rights and individual freedoms are especially at risk.
As part of his nearly $2 trillion budget reconciliation bill, Biden wants to give massive tax breaks to newspaper chains, which are struggling to compete and maintain their relevancy in a digital age. Television stations and news websites also would be eligible.
Biden’s plan would allow media organizations to claim a $25,000 tax break for each journalist during the first year, and then $15,000 per person over the next four years.
As Fox News pointed out, the country’s largest newspaper chain, Gannett, would be eligible for more than $127.5 million over the next five years.
You would assume Gannett’s highly touted code of ethics would prohibit their taking handouts from the government. Specifically, their promises to:
- Be vigilant watchdogs of government and institutions that affect the public.
- Remain free of outside interests, investments or business relationships that may
- compromise the credibility of our news report.
- Avoid potential conflicts of interest and eliminate inappropriate influence on content.
- Remain free of improper obligations to news sources, newsmakers and advertisers.
While these are lofty goals, having met the folks who run the company, I know full well they would sell their own children to receive $127.5 million in savings over the next five years.
Times are hard for print journalists. Most of the country’s newspapers have sold off their properties and now rent space in strip malls or office buildings. Print circulation has plummeted. Some once-daily newspapers now publish only two or three days per week.
Staffing levels have dropped significantly. Some papers now have 10% of the personnel they had 10 years ago. Digital subscriptions, once seen as a panacea, have proven incapable of sustaining daily operations since they cost next to nothing compared to a print subscription, or, as one friend described the push for digital over print subscriptions: They’re turning dollars into dimes.
Desperate times do indeed call for desperate measures, and the legacy media is definitely desperate. Gannett has shown it has no problem ditching its ethical principles for cold, hard cash. As we first pointed out, their flagship newspaper USA TODAY has an ongoing partnership with The Trace – the propaganda arm of former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun empire.
In short, the paper allows anti-gun activists to report, edit, and illustrate news stories that appear in print and online. The newspaper giant also partnered with Facebook to provide fact checkers, for which Gannett received millions of dollars in compensation. However, taking handouts from the Biden-Harris administration would be a new low, even for Gannett.
Accepting Biden’s handouts would radically alter how his administration is covered by the media. In essence, reporters would be on the government payroll, becoming the president’s paid propagandists.
The timing of Biden’s plan is very revealing, too. The mainstream media have given Biden and his crew of bumblers a free pass for the last 10 months. There has been zero accountability regardless of how badly the administration has stumbled and fallen. Only now are mainstream reporters starting to ask real questions, which the White House finds uncomfortable.
Millions of dollars in tax breaks going to the mainstream media would stop these questions from ever being asked. The White House press corps “watchdogs” wouldn’t be allowed to bite the hand that is literally feeding them and their corporate owners.
The press is the only thing holding the Biden-Harris administration remotely accountable, and they have done a poor job of it. The majority of the national scrutiny is coming from just one young reporter at Fox.
If the media takes Biden’s deal, beware. Any meaningful scrutiny will end. Biden and his crew have repeatedly shown they won’t allow the Constitution to get in their way of their plans. By muzzling the watchdogs, the White House can resume their war on guns or anything else that’s on their totalitarian agenda without worrying about what we the people think of their plan.
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This story is part of the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project and is published here with their permission.