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And you thought 'Anchorwoman' was a bad idea...

It didn't take me long after I started working for newspapers to realize that the greatest single threat to the First Amendment is journalists. It's amazing to me that the profession has managed to survive the unthinking idiots who practice it. In the latest and most egregious example, a bunch of the same people who've helped run newspapers into the ground -- editors who led papers like the Philadelphia Inquirer over a cliff or helped the New York Times to run purely fictional stories -- are now calling for government subsidies to journalism. They want their incompetence to be rewarded with a prime spot at the government teat, removing even the slightest incentive to deliver news that is useful or interesting to readers and viewers or to adapt to changing technologies.

If the mainstream media -- as they're contemptuously dismissed by both the right and the left these days -- face a crisis of credibility now, just wait until they've become a subsidized house pet of Washington, preening and stretching and purring rather than reporting. Instead of embedded reporters whose lives depend on the soldiers they cover, we'll have entire embedded newspapers and TV networks whose livelihoods depend on the governing class they cover. You don't have to be a conspiracy theorist to guess how that will turn out. 


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