HT: Libertarian Republican.
The New York Times seems to be in serious trouble advertising revenues have fallen by 20% for the year and circulation has dropped as well as having its bond rating falling to the point according to some reports into junk territory. Now from 24/7 Wall St. –
The New York Times (NYT) has to repay $400 million in debt in the first half of 2009. It does not have the money. It plans to mortgage its headquarters, but it is uncertain what that will bring in an uncertain real estatemarket. The firm’s Boston Globe and regional newspaper operations lose money, so they will be hard to sell. NYT is controlled by the Sulzberger family, which has super-majority voting shares. That won’t matter much when the company runs out of money. Another big media operation, perhaps News Corp (NWS) which owns The Wall Street Journal and The New York Post, will come in and auction off what it can and keep the flagship New York Times newspaper and NYTimes.com website.
There have been a few suggestions that failing newspapers should be bailed out notably an effort in Connecticut for a state bailout of a couple of local papers the New Britain Herald and the Bristol Press. The Republican governor and the Democratic attorney general of Connecticut supported government intervention to save them. Following this seven state MPs sent a letter to Connecticut's Department of Economic and Community Development seeking help for the dying newspapers. The wording by seven legislators included: -
We share the sentiments of our nation’s leaders (Presumably meaning founding fathers) who wrote [in] the Bill of Rights that a free press is an essential part of democracy.”
They appear to believe newspapers have constitutional protection from failure.
It is quite likely that Democrats may find the idea of a bail out of the NYT to their liking as it still has some influence left in the community, and lefties need it as an 'unbiased authority' that can always be guaranteed to support their views. It would be difficult to choose whether NYT or Huffington Post was the most even handed in coverage of the last election.
NYT has built up a great deal of political capital with the Democrats. Since Grover Cleveland in 1880 they have only endorsed Republicans six times in thirty-two elections, the last being Eisenhower in 1956, therefore nobody under the age of seventy has voted for a Republican nominee on the basis of a NYT endorsement.
They would be sorely tempted if calls came to save the paper. If the opportunity arose and they felt they could put enough spin on it such as the right of the public to information, saving jobs, preventing the failure of an American icon, etc I feel they would jump at it.
In reality under these circumstances, it would be simply a case of the Democrats, "Churching the old whore."
Editors note: The term "churching the old whore." is well known in Australian politics from its use by PM Gough Whitlam, to describe the relationship between the Liberal/NP coalition and the DLP. On the announcement of what became known as the “Gair Affair” Opposition leader Billy Sneddon asked “Who’s churching the old whore now.” The origin is from a play by (I think) Ibsen.
The Gair affair was an attempt by Whitlam to get an extra senate seat by persuading DLP senator Gair to accept the Ambassadorship to Ireland, thus creating an extra vacancy on the eve of an election, giving the ALP a good chance of taking it, as six seats would be vacant instead of five. This was thwarted by a ruse where NP leader Doug Antony and a couple of others invited Gair to a beer and prawn session and got him pissed as a newt, thus preventing him from getting his resignation in, while Queensland Premier Joh Bjelke Peterson held an emergency cabinet meeting declaring vacancies for five senate seats and rushing it to the governor and getting it signed.
Whitlam ridiculed Joh as the Kingaroy peanut and launched a High Court challenge on the basis that Joh knew that another position was vacant, however the court tossed it out as Joh at the time of the meeting “Had not been officially informed.”
Fair dinkum, I’m not making this up.