Adding another item to a long list of items that defy the U.S. Constitution, Democrats have introduced HR 3602 and a similar bill in the Senate, S.673, to permit newspapers to operate in much the same manner political "educational" groups operate.
The premise of S.673 ,“Amends the Internal Revenue Code to exempt from income taxation a newspaper corporation or organization if: (1) it publishes on a regular basis a newspaper for general circulation; (2) its newspaper contains local, national, and international news stories of interest to the general public and the distribution of such newspaper is necessary or valuable in achieving an educational purpose; and (3) the preparation of the material contained in such newspaper follows a methodology generally accepted as educational…Exempts the advertising income of a tax-exempt newspaper corporation or organization from taxation as unrelated business income and allows a charitable tax deduction for contributions to such newspaper corporation or organization.”
HR 3602 provides for the same.
There is specific language in the Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution regarding the press: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…”
There is little doubt most traditional branded media have favored the Democratic platform. Newsbusters said more than 13 “journalists” from major outlets like The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, Newsweek and Time magazine went to work for the Obama administration after the election.
The plight of newspapers is a result of complex factors, but mostly a result of lack of responsiveness to new methods for delivering news. Setting a precedent of providing free content to all is a disincentive to those who might actually pay. Newspapers have also become reliant on wire services like the Associated Press to cover stories, even if the events covered happen at home. Cable networks run a 24/7 news and analysis cycle, meaning breaking news is delivered instantly.
Because of reliance on wire services whose writers may even hail from nonprofit organizations with a leftwing bent, newspapers have eroded their brands by preaching to only one choir, and that choir happens to be one that will not pay for a subscription.
Any involvement of government in the newspaper business should be decried. If newspapers want to openly register as “educational” organizations, the option already exists. The difference: they won’t really be newspapers anymore. If a newspaper opts for a non-profit model, it cannot really call itself a newspaper.
Bills introduced by Democrats open a door that as any seasoned political observer knows, will swing wider with time. HR 3602 and S.673 are nothing more than a quid pro quo for support of a single political party in our opinion. These bills inch America ever closer to de facto state-run media models. The door should slam shut on those bills immediately.--by Kay B. Day
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