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Archive for November 5th, 2007

A DIFFERENT WAY TO STRANGLE A FREE PRESS

Posted in Corporate Greed, Corruption Watch, Government Shenanigans, News Brief on November 5th, 2007

POSTAL SERVICE SAYS KILLING SMALL PERIODICALS IS A “WIN-WIN”

bushstamp21.jpg The founding fathers when designing the model for what would be our democracy, realized that an independent, free press was the lifeblood of that democracy. To encourage its growth, they created a postal system, which gave favorable rates to small periodicals and journals of opinion. This tradition carried on, for the most part, unchanged, until this past summer.

Similarly, the Bush administration also recognized the importance to the democracy of a free and independent press. The difference being that the administration, up to its ass in all manner of questionable behavior, hates democracy, fears free speech, and has worked tirelessly to stifle it at every turn.

Granted, this fear is not without good reason. Believing that criminal behavior functions best in an information vacuum, the Bushies have lashed out against media outlets, large and small, devoting particular attention to those independent publications unwilling to toe the party line and keep silent about the President’s end run around the constitution and his other crimes against humanity.

What better way to silence these dissenting voices than to make it difficult, if not impossible, for many of those loudest in their criticism to remain financially viable. This is precisely what the new postal code revisions were engineered to do.

Under the new pricing structure, the favorable rates guaranteed to smaller periodicals since the days of the founding fathers have been abolished in favor of the publications paying their fair share. Publicly, the administration claims that making every class of mail cover the cost directly attributable to carrying their mail was an attempt to make the postal rates fair for all. Right! Believe this and I know of an abandoned bridge in Alaska, I can sell you.

Coincidentally, the revisions were suggested by Time Warner, publisher of many of our nations most popular and least relevant periodicals.

I guess in the twisted world view of the administration, we’re supposed to believe that Time Warner did this so as to eliminate competition from a group of publications, which combined and multiplied by 10 probably would not have the circulation of one of Time Warner’s least profitable books.

But then, Time Warner with its extensive media portfolio is probably beholden to this administration for its continued corporate well-being. Perhaps playing ball in today’s corporate world means shilling for the administration as well.

-LIB

POSTAL SERVICE SAYS KILLING SMALL PERIODICALS IS A “WIN-WIN”

Defying the founding fathers, Bush appointees at the USPS have decided to strangle the free press.

Elijah Cummings was angry. The Democratic congressman from Baltimore represents a district that is home to the Afro-American Newspaper, a weekly publication that is in jeopardy of going out of business due to the United States Postal Service’s recent rate hike on small periodicals. Cummings’ testiness showed when a House subcommittee heard testimony on the rate increase from a host of postal officials earlier this week.

“If these small publications go out of business, is that a win-win?” Cummings asked James Miller, chairman of the USPS’s Board of Governors, the entity that approved the rate hikes, during one tense exchange.

“That’s a hypothetical,” Miller protested.

“Nah, nah, nah,” Cummings said. “You got a lot of businesses that put out publications that are saying that this is going to affect them in a negative way…. I’m asking you a simple question. If they go out of business, is it a win-win?”

MORE….

Source: Mother Jones

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