12/09/2008

An example of why government shouldn't subsidize or regulate the media

Fox News has the story here:

The Chicago Tribune was first to report the arrests. The Tribune was named in the affidavit because tapes allegedly recorded Blagojevich directing Harris to inform the newspaper's owners and advisers that "state financial assistance would be withheld unless members of the Chicago Tribune's editorial board were fired, primarily because Blagojevich viewed them as driving discussion of his possible impeachment." . . .


Possibly this is a good reason to keep government out of things generally.

UPDATE: There is a lot more detail provided here:

According to the affidavit, intercepted phone calls revealed that the Tribune Company, which owns the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Cubs, has explored the possibility of obtaining assistance from the Illinois Finance Authority relating to the Tribune Company’s efforts to sell the Cubs and the financing or sale of Wrigley Field.

In a Nov. 6 phone call, Harris explained to Blagojevich that the deal the Tribune Company was trying to get through the IFA was basically a tax mitigation scheme in which the IFA would own title to Wrigley Field and the Tribune would not have to pay capital gains tax, which Harris estimated would save the company approximately $100 million.

Intercepted calls allegedly show that Blagojevich directed Harris to inform the Tribune and an associate, identified as Tribune Financial Advisor, that state financial assistance would be withheld unless members of the Chicago Tribune’s editorial board were fired, primarily because Blagojevich viewed them as driving discussion of his possible impeachment.

In a Nov. 4 phone call, Blagojevich allegedly told Harris that he should say to Tribune Financial Advisor, the Cubs chairman and the Tribune owner, “our recommendation is fire all those [expletive] people, get ‘em the [expletive] out of there and get us some editorial support.”

On Nov. 6, the day of a Tribune editorial critical of Blagojevich , Harris told Blagojevich that he told Tribune Financial Advisor the previous day that things “look like they could move ahead fine but, you know, there is a risk that all of this is going to get derailed by your own editorial page.”

Harris also told Blagojevich that he was meeting with Tribune Financial Advisor on Nov. 10.

In a Nov. 11 intercepted call, Harris allegedly told Blagojevich that Tribune Financial Advisor talked to Tribune Owner and Tribune Owner “got the message and is very sensitive to the issue.”

Harris told Blagojevich that according to Tribune Financial Advisor, there would be “certain corporate reorganizations and budget cuts coming and, reading between the lines, he’s going after that section.”

Blagojevich allegedly responded: “Oh. That’s fantastic.” . . .

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2 Comments:

Blogger 1 said...

There's a funny thing about the financially troubled Chicago Tribune running this story...

According to mediabistro.com Gov. Blago was less than happy with the Tribune editorial staff: "Mr. Blagojevich threatened to withhold state assistance from the Tribune Company, the publisher of the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times, which filed for bankruptcy on Monday. According to the authorities, Mr. Blagojevich wanted members of the Tribune's editorial board, who had criticized him, to be fired before he extended any state assistance"...

Does it get any funnier than this?

12/09/2008 3:05 PM  
Blogger Martin G. Schalz said...

Corruption, and excesses by those in office, pose a threat to us all.

As far as government subsidizing or regulating media, I have a fine example of what they ignore in doing so.

"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; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

Five clauses in all. All five have been ignored by those in government.

First clause. Govt. suppresses the free exercise of religion daily, by stopping many from saying prayers to God, thanking him for their bountiful meal provided to them by public schools. Not to mention what the IRS does to stop churches.

Second and third clause. Speech and press? This gets weird. Hate speech is bad in some cases, but not yet in others? What gives? One can be prosecuted for hate crimes based upon what they say, but yet the KKK can protest at state capitols? The press must be regulated by the 'Fairness Doctrine'? Who controls the press, and why must it be controlled? Which is why we are on the subject of this post perhaps?

Peaceably assemble. Some are issued permits, and others are barred. Depends on where you are, and who you are in this category.

Last, and fifth clause. The Government on so many levels has made it so difficult for the common citzen to petition the government for redress of grievance by placing such a high cost to do so. Fees, time, rules, and laws, just to name a few.

After reading the Jan 2009 issue of Readers Digest, I found this, on page 173...

"Reread the Constitution
Pauline Maier is a professor of American History at M.I.T. the and author of American Scripture: Making the Declaration of Independence. Here is her advice for President-elect Obama.

Mr. President: May I suggest that before swearing to uphold the Constitution you take the time to reread it. It's short and won't take long, but it’s had a rather bumpy ride lately and needs more careful attention. Its meaning has, of course, been explained over some 200 years of jurisprudence, but its basic points were meant to be clear to anyone. Your most illustrious predecessors knew the Constitution well and honored the limits imposed on executive power and the prerogatives granted to the legislative and judicial branches of government. Please don't skip the amendments, particularly those that protect the rights of the people, along with the provision on Habeas Corpus in Article I, Section 9.

In fact, if you could encourage the people to read the Constitution, that would help get your administration off to a good start. How can we link arms in defense of what the United States stands for, or should stand for, unless we know very well exactly what that fundamental document of our nationhood says?

From Reader's Digest - January 2009"

Online source:http://www.rd.com/your-america-inspiring-people-and-stories/more-memos-to-president-elect-obama/article113126.html?trkid=MAG_JAN08

I do not find it odd that an M.I.T. professor would be asking this of a so called 'Professor' of constitutional law. After all, BHO ignores what he does not like.

Last, but not least...

Thank you Dr. Lott, for supporting the Constitution by letting us express ourselves, in this, your blog.

12/11/2008 7:42 PM  

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