Meet The Man (and The Mustache) That Would Regulate Journalists in Michigan!


This is Bruce Patterson, a state senator in Michigan, who wants to regulate and license journalists in the Wolverine State, a place that has been Mississippi du Nord for going on three decades now, with massive job losses, population shifts, and an economy that performs somewhere south of Greece. Oh yeah, and a massive budget deficit that shows no signs of turning around anytime this century.

Patterson, reports FishBowl NY, wants to pass a law that

would require license applicants to possess, among other things: 1) "Good moral character"; 2) a degree in journalism; and 3) three writing samples. In our experience, those first two "qualifications" are in no way preconditions to quality reporting. The third may be necessary, but is by no means sufficient.

In any case, Patterson has said that the existence of a license would not preclude unlicensed writers from reporting the news; sounds like he's more interested in putting a state seal of approval on certain organizations/individuals instead. His bill is a response to certain instances of reporting in which the writer has demonstrated a lack of understanding of the issues at hand.

Maybe it's just the honorary Ohioan in me but, Jeebus H. Christ, the things those Michiganders up there think of!

On the up side, when pols of all stripes start yapping about licensing the press—or subsidizing it with public money – maybe that's just a sign that pixel-stained wretches (of absolutely horrible moral character, with no degrees, and likely no "clips") are starting to draw blood. Or at least attention the free-spending, idiotic ways of most statehouses and legislatures. Mebbe.

Is it a good idea for governments to get involved with the media financially and/or in terms of licensing? Obviously no. Watch a vid that makes the point.

NEXT: Yet Still Even More on The Coming War Between Public and Private Sector Workers...Chap MCMXIII

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  1. His bill is a response to certain instances of reporting in which the writer has demonstrated a lack of understanding of the issues at hand.

    So what bill would be an appropriate response to his lack of understanding of the concept of a free press?

  2. BTW, pretty much the entire problem with the modern state is that the guy in this picture thinks he should be able to judge whether or not I am worthy to undertake an economic exchange with another citizen.

  3. I would follow that man and his mustache to the gates of hell!

    1. Now, if he just had a monocle and a tophat…

      1. They could cast him as the lead in “Monopoly-The Motion Picture”.

      2. Yeah I can picture him in a bank sitting behind a big pile of cash, twirling his mustache and laughing about stealing others’ money.

    2. To make sure he went in, if for no other reason

    3. I think the mustache makes him appear twenty pounds lighter – about three bills.

  4. That is one of the five gayest mustaches ever. He should just go ahead and dye it pink.

    And he should be flogged and set on fire for being a credentialist idiot.

    1. That is one of the five gayest mustaches ever.

      Well, his name is Bruce, after all. But, he does look more like a Seymour.

    2. I would be interested in seeing the other four.

      Also, “The Five Gayest Mustaches Ever” would be a pretty good article. You should write it and see if they’ll buy it.

  5. Who elected this stupid piece of sh*t?

    1. If you’ve ever played SimCity and did a big blob of “heavy industrial” zoning, apply that to Metro Detroit and you’ve got his constituency.

  6. Seems like we need licensing of legislators. Requiring:

    1) “Good moral character” (as judged by…..?;

    2) a degree from the school of hard knocks;

    3) three examples of acts that demonstrate a fundamental understanding of the original understanding of the Constitution.


    1. meh, is right.

    2. Your rule #1 disqualifies just about the entire current crop. . .

  7. You know why he’s wearing that necktie?

    It prevents the foreskin from creeping up his chin and over his head.

    1. That kind of talk will get your license suspended.

  8. ” A well regulated media being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to speech, shall not be infringed.”

    That should make it perfectly clear.

  9. pretty much the entire problem…

    I don’t know. Historically, rule by ’70s TV sheriff lookin’ yee-ha dipshits has been far less catastrophic than rule by punchable shlubs has.

    Mustache dope is forthright in his aims and methods. The shlubs are sneaking the very same shit at us behind regulatory cover and libertarian-sounding euphemism. Mustache dope will fail. They won’t.

    Then a whole lot of people will have to die.

  10. Now, if he just had a monocle and a tophat monkey and a dog riding a bicycle…

    1. And a whip and jodhpurs.

  11. Yep, makes me proud to be a Michigander working in Ohio.

    Hopefully I’ll be in the Buckeye State when hell opens up and swallows Michigan whole. It’s gonna happen, soon…

    1. Muck Fichigan. Go Bucks!

  12. Jesus Christ in heaven! If this trend is not terrifying to you (and I mean the trend toward having the government “save” the newspaper business and ordain/qualify journalists) I have no idea what would be.

  13. Maybe it’s just the honorary Ohioan in me but, Jeebus H. Christ, the things those Michiganders up there think of!

    Sorry, but I have to ask: is this a better or worse idea than a downtown trolley?

  14. The principal benefit of a trolley is having tracks to tie people like this idiot to.

    1. You’ve got it all backwards. Guys with mustaches like that are the ones doing the tying (usually of a tax-paying damsel) to the tracks.

      With the crack DHS on the job, I doubt Dudley will be able to get across the border to save her either (and even if he did get across, I doubt he’d make it through Detroit without having his horse stripped of parts).

  15. I was a journalist 30 years ago.

    1) Moral what?
    2) English – J schools were full of Woodward and Bernstein wannabes
    3) Clips? It was my first frikkin job asshat.

    What a dick.

  16. Why Michigan? Doesn’t he have an Emerald City of his own to run?

  17. With iPods and iPads; Xboxes and PlayStations — none of which I know how to work — information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation.

    All of this is not only putting new pressures on you. It is putting new pressures on our country and on our democracy.

    Maybe if some class of people smarter and just plain better than the average could make sure only emancipating information, not just distracting entertainment, was produced by the media, our lives would be much richer. Maybe Bruce Patterson has the right idea.

    1. Oh, and don’t let the fact that I am either lying about not using an iPod or simply too stupid to use an iPod make you doubt I am honest enough and smart enough to run the health care system and the financial markets.

      1. “Hey, Sasha? Sasha! How do I get this iPod player to skip to the next track again?”

  18. Well, the gov already forces you to get a license for your 2nd amendment rights, why not the 1st? Why not all?

  19. LOL, that dude looks like a real tool!


    1. Anyone else find it annoying when the bot makes a good point?

      1. I always find the bot annoying.

  20. “The $6 million two-year grant to expand FRONTLINE will allow the series to add new multi-story magazine-format programs to each season, providing FRONTLINE producers with greater capacity to provide in-depth coverage of domestic and international stories, as well as social and cultural issues. The expanded FRONTLINE schedule on PBS will also feature “fast turnaround” news reports and timely investigative stories. The new expanded FRONTLINE will build on and increase its partnerships with journalism schools and public media institutions like the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, ProPublica, the Center for Investigative Reporting, and American University’s Investigative Reporting Workshop, among others. These partnerships will enhance FRONTLINE’s investigative reporting resources and expand the series’ ability to develop a digital-age generation of younger and more diverse reporters, doing innovative work both online and for broadcast.”

  21. It looks like the Seasteading peolple need to hurry up and get us a floating island nation to flee to.

    1. I’ve come to believe that the Sea-Steading “Institute” is primarily a way for Patri to blow his inheritance and spend a couple wacky yet rich guys’ generous donation money.

      As far as I’ve seen being somewhat close to some of the main folks involved, the organization is run like a 12-year old’s clubhouse.

      They just blew like $5k on a “design contest” that produced a bunch of “sweet” 3D models, but no engineering schematics and the price tag they keep claiming on that stuff is maybe 10% of what they’d need to make it functional.

  22. Have no fear. Ohio has plenty of stupid.…..nt_1738007

  23. Fuckin’ Ohioans. We should have kicked your Jerry Springer and Dennis Kucinich electing asses during the Toledo War.*

    * Ohio got Toledo, Michigan got the Yoopers. It was your basic lose/lose scenario.

    1. You can have Toledo. It’s shithole. We’ll take the UP.

  24. I hear that they are hiring for the new Atlas Shrugged movie. He should be great in that, he can twirl his mustache and spout all kinds of stupid collectivist nonsense.

  25. Regulate that mustache, man!

  26. I once testified to a MI State Senate committee on proposed anti-spam legislation (I was arguing in favor of the property rights of network owners) when Patterson was the committee chair. Through shockingly bad staff work, he had invited me because he thought I supported his proposed law. When it became clear that I didn’t, he turned my mic off.

    Glad to see him getting national attention as an jackass.

  27. the Wolverine State, a place that has been Mississippi du Nord…

    Why smear Mississippi by comparing it to that shithole state?

  28. How did Jennifer Granholm manage to win re-election?

    1. The GOP nominated Dick DeVos, the Amway guy.

  29. I agree the law is dumb, but it’s not much of a threat to a free press. It’s almost like making someone a Kentucky Colonel. The only thing the law does is set criteria for people who want to be licensed journalists under Michigan law. Unlicensed journalists would be able do everything that licensed journalists do except call themselves licensed journalists. Newspapers are free to hire licensed or unlicensed journalists, etc.

    Again, I don’t see the point of creating a pointless honorific, but it’s not inhibiting free speech.

    1. You’ve made a lot of assumptions there.

    2. Isn’t a J-school degree and a history of writing sufficient “license” for employers? I can guaran-damn-tee you that if this somehow passed, it would just be a precursor to banning or punishing nonlicensed journalists — and probably would be used as the rationale for stripping first amendment press rights from all non-state journalists.

  30. Even as we speak, Zombie Woody Hayes is shambling up north to kick the fuck out of that asshole.

    1. Unfortunately for him, zombie Bo Schembechler is waiting.

      Good times, those two.

    2. Even ZWH must know there’s no chance for brrrrains in that encounter.

  31. We don’t see a problem with this.

    1. We don’t, either.

  32. Michigander–no, meshuggener!

  33. As a Spartan I object to the defamation of our state as “Wolverine”

  34. Maybe it’s just the honorary Ohioan in me but

    Is this phrase missing a ‘t’ at the end?

  35. Once we have licensing of journalists, the left will simply dismiss the reporting of unlicensed journalists, no matter how lucid and factual. It will complete the polarization of news where you will only seek out news that will reinforce your belief system.

  36. “Unless we give the free subscriptions”

    Actually that’s not true they STILL won’t be read. The Oregonian, my ‘local’ newspaper, has several times now sent me free subscriptions to their daily and/or Sunday editions for a few months. I still did not read any of them.

  37. Since he’s a beefy white guy Democrat in Michigan, we can probably assume that he’s a union hack. Which probably explains the denseness.

    1. Actually, he’s a Republican.

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