Bailing Out and Counting Beans

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Earlier today, Reason.tv presented the case against bailing out the newspaper industry. But if you still doubt (as a few of my email correspondents have) that certain Democrats are very, very serious about saving newspapers that are "vital to American democracy," I submit this story from today's The Hill, in which House Majority Whip James Clyburn asks for a bailout of struggling minority-owned media outlets. It's not just "democracy" that is threatened when subpar newspapers run aground, but "diversity" too:

High-ranking House Democrats are urging the Treasury Department to prop up minority-owned broadcasters suffering from a lack of capital and lost advertising revenue amid the economic slump.

House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) is leading an effort to convince Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to take "decisive action" by extending credit to this sector of the broadcasting industry.

Clyburn and other senior members, including House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), argue that minority-owned broadcasters are sound businesses, but that the recession could undermine the government's efforts to diversify the airwaves.

A number of members from the Congressional Black Caucus signed the letter, too.

"While many jobs are at stake, a more important principle—the government's fundamental interest in promoting a diversity of voices, including service to underserved communities—is severely threatened," the members write in a draft of a letter that was scheduled to be sent Tuesday.

Whole thing here.

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  1. Rush Limbaugh was talking about this on his show today.

    Here is another part of the story he mentioned:

    Radio ratings have traditionally been done by Arbitron and the method was giving people diaries to fill out with the info of which radio stations they listened to.

    It seems that minorities were much less inclined to participate in such things so Arbitron enganged in it’s own version of affirmative action by artificially boosting teh ratings of minority owned stations – quite significantly in some cases.

    Now Arbitron has developed some sort of system where it gives people some kind of device to wear that automatically records what radio station they are listening to wherever they go.

    So it is much more accurate. And the ratings assigned to minority stations took a big dive.

    And that meant that the advertising rates those stations could charge also took a big dive because advertisers base what they are willing to pay by the size of the audience they are reaching.

    So the minority station’s revenue losses are not entirely due to the economic slump but also due the unwinding of a ratings “fudge factor” that had been giving them an unearned boost.

  2. “Beans”? What is that, some kind of racial slur?

  3. “the government’s fundamental interest in promoting a diversity of voices, including service to under served communities”

    I’m sorry, exactly which clause in the Constitution is that found in?

  4. We voted a Chicago democrat into the White House and now our treasury is being looted. Why does this surprise anyone?

  5. Here’s a solution. Give the UAW some bailout money to loan to struggling newspapers and let them collect principle and interest.

  6. Right Gilbert. And Graying Angelino Hipsters were one of the hardest hit minorities.

  7. Saw ya on the FOX NEWS this evening
    You gotta voice and phrasing for typing on the Internet Moynihan.

  8. Ummm, didn’t we just bail out banks so that they would have to capital to loan to businesses? If these are all “sound businesses” as Rangel says, why don’t they just get bank loans?

  9. The they mention anything about independent media outlets being vital to democracy?

  10. Why don’t we just fucking stop. STOP. STOP IT NOW. Why doesn’t the government just fucking start cutting cheques. To everyone. You write a two page essay to the government, and your cheque amount is based on the essay.

    Just hit them with your sob story, and a huge typing pool of Obamatrons will start handing out cheques. Wouldn’t this be a far more honest way of the government doing business?

  11. Who decides what communities are “under served”? This is political gobblidygook of the first order.

  12. This is the kind of crap that makes me want to vote Republican even though I despise the hypocritical war mongering bastards.

    Charles Rangel and Ted Kennedy, leaders of the jackass party.

  13. Brown people listen to jungle music.

  14. House Majority Whip James Clyburn asks for a bailout of struggling minority-owned media outlets

    So I guess the Washington Times, a perennial money-loser that is owned by Koreans, will be among the first to get government money once this program passes, right?

  15. So it is much more accurate. And the ratings assigned to minority stations took a big dive.

    The lesson to take away from this is that accuracy is racist.

  16. Seamus,

    Doesn’t the New York Post also lose money? And doesn’t NYC need a right wing paper, you know, in the interest of diversity?

  17. “I’m sorry, exactly which clause in the Constitution is that found in?”

    It’s in the invisible writing section on the back.

    You have to have some special glasses made by Ben Franklin 200 years ago to see it.

  18. “Diversity (aka the right skin color and genitailia)”

    Here’s where that crap leads. This is rich:

    Protest addresses lack of construction jobs for the disabled

    Rally-goers in St. Paul protested the lack of construction job opportunities for the disabled.

    http://www.mndaily.com/2009/05/20/protest-addresses-lack-construction-jobs-disabled

  19. “You write a two page essay to the government, and your cheque amount is based on the essay.”

    That’s not fair. The amount should be based on seniority.

  20. “Who decides what communities are “under served”? This is political gobblidygook of the first order.”

    It’s easy. The ones with the right skin color and genitalia.

  21. Without bailout money millions of white people will not have the pleasure of being pissed off to no end as the “diversified” crowd rolls down the street playing their crap music.. Oh I mean Rap music. We can’t allow white people to live inside their brick homes without the never ending thumping coming from the neighborhood thug wanna be cars.

    If they are so sound a business model than they shouldn’t be in trouble to begin with. I can run a really sound profitable business very easily as well if I have the government making deposits into my account.

    Enough is enough already. If they have a place and a following they will survive on their own. If they do not then oh fuckin well not like they will be the first business to have to shut down due to bad economy, poor management or a lack of tax payer money rolling in to keep it open. They were trying to tie the hard times these radio stations are facing with the lack of ads from the auto industry which was just bailed out. Essentially they were trying to make themselves appear as though they are one of the small vendors that makes parts for the auto industry that we just can not afford to lose. Funny thing is I don’t hear all that much less radio ads from car dealers than I did a year ago.

    Basically if your not white you won’t qualify. That is diversity in a nut shell.

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