-By Warner Todd Huston
In a blow to the autonomy of the media it has been discovered that employees of two Old Media outlets are the happy beneficiaries of hundreds of thousands of federal dollars from an Obamacare slush fund. CBS and the Washington Post have both taken large payments from Obama's Early Retiree Reinsurance Program (ERRP), with the Post getting $573,217 while CBS has received a whopping $722,388.
Matthew Boyle reported that the news of the media giants taking federal cash was revealed at a hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee last week.
The question here becomes one of disclosure. Will CBS and the Washington Post put disclaimers on any story they relate about Obamacare? After all, if we see a positive story about Obamacare from the Washington Post or CBS might we assume the stories are so positive because employees of those media organizations know they could be the beneficiaries of thousands of dollars in federal cash? Might we assume that these Old Media employees might fear that any negative story might put that largess at risk? Boyle quotes Rep. Marsha Blackburn on that very issue.
"It is fine with me if they continue covering the ObamaCare debate," said Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Republican of Tennessee, in an e-mail to The Daily Caller. "When NBC used to cover energy issues, they identified themselves as a subsidiary of General Electric. CBS and Washington Post just have to disclose that they are subsidiaries of the Obama Administration."
So what about it, Old Media? Are you going to tell your viewers and readers that you are quietly getting fistfuls of cash from the very government you are claiming to "report" on? And what about that cynical and detached demeanor you always claim to be employing in the doing?