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By Anonymous Mike, pseudonymously.

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Saturday, March 21, 2009
Newspaper Bailouts, AIG, and Art

The one great reminder of the whole AIG bonus controversy is what happens when government, whether bureaucrats or elected officials, start to get involved in the operations of private organizations. You take bailout money, whether through acceptance or by force, and all of the sudden your inner operations are thrown open to all sorts of meddling and grandstanding.

If you go back a few decades, remember the controversy over how grants were being used by the National Endowment for the Arts? With all the meddling and grandstanding about people wondering why taxpayer dollars were being used to fund projects that they considered obscene? People cried censorship, I wondered why such free thinkers and boundary pushers wanted federal dollars to begin with.

Keep that in mind when the next group starts pawing around, crying in distress for some federal funds to help them through a tough time... like newspapers. They don't even necessarily need money to become compromised, maybe just a little bending of the rules.

I especially enjoyed the plea for all sorts of federal subsidies from that former bastion of free thought, The Nation. Seriously, if we provide anti-trust exemptions and tax credits for newspaper subscriptions what happens the next time The New York Times blows the cover on a top-secret national security program? What about the chairman of a key congressional committee dealing with such newspaper subsidies?

Common folks, you accept taxpayer money you are going to be subject in some way to government influence and control.

(h/t Coyote Blog)