Barack Obama is apparently open to a bailout for the newspaper industry. Frightening stuff. We really don't want large sections of the media dependent upon the state (a danger Jeremy Hunt MP is very much alive to).
In the course of discussing a newspaper bailout, the American president said this of blogs:
"I am concerned that if the direction of the news is all blogosphere, all opinions, with no serious fact-checking, no serious attempts to put stories in context, that what you will end up getting is people shouting at each other across the void but not a lot of mutual understanding."
I've defended political blogging before and won't repeat all of my arguments but the key thing President Obama does not appear to understand is that the internet has democratised "fact-checking". All of the professional fact-checkers at CBS missed the fake documents that that "august" media giant broadcast which purported to show that George W Bush had dodged military service. The fact that they were forged was exposed by the general public on blogs.
I know that any error I publish on ConHome will be exposed very quickly by the site's own readers or by any number of other blogs. Newspapers rarely give readers a fair right-of-reply to misrepresentations and if they do it can take days. The internet is a hugely accountable media and accountability happens fast.
The true motivation for a newspaper bailout by a left-wing White House and Congress is a concern to prop up a largely left-wing newspaper industry.
Hat tip to Samuel Coates' Twitter feed.