In reality, it is a pork-ridden behemoth that will serve primarily as a payoff to key Democrat constituencies so as to buy off their loyalty for years to come.
That includes the garbage "mainstream media" too, apparently.
Tucked inside the bill, which is several thousand pages long (legislation should never be that lengthy and complex) is a provision that would provide more than a billion dollars to media outlets, ostensibly as part of COVID 'relief.'
The Federalist's Christopher Jacobs has more frustrating details:
Several weeks ago, I wrote an article asking why the media in general, and Politico in particular, refuse to cover the irregularities in Joe Biden’s taxes. Turns out they have a lot of reasons not to do so. Approximately 1,269,000,000 reasons, in fact.
A relatively unheralded program in the $3.5 trillion Democrat spending spree would provide well more than $1 billion in bailout funds to media organizations. You read that right: With our nation more than $28 trillion in debt, Democrats want to raise taxes to spend more money on their political allies in corporate media.
"It’s enough to prompt the inevitable chicken-and-egg question: Did Democrats propose this bailout because corporate media bury scandals like Joe Biden’s taxes and Hunter Biden’s e-mails, or did the media bury those scandals in the hopes of receiving a bailout?" Jacobs added.
The columnist went on to explain the so-called "welfare for writers" measure is buried near the end of the 2,465-page bill that effectively uses federal tax dollars to subsidize journalism, which would mean even more pro-Democrat big government bias than the outlets currently demonstrate, which is a lot as-is. Imagine our founders' shock if someone at the Constitutional Convention would have suggested government funding of the 'free press' which was designed to be completely free of government regulations and interference so the media could hold the powerful to account.
If your publication is getting handouts from Uncle Sam, those outlets aren't going to report on Uncle Sam when he violates our rights, breaks our laws or otherwise gets out of hand.
"The program would provide a credit of up to $50,000 annually for each 'local news journalist' on staff, subsidizing half of wages in the first year and 30 percent for four years thereafter," wrote Jacobs.
The measure describes a “local news journalist” as someone who is employed “at least 100 hours” every quarter, “during which time such individual regularly gathers, collects, photographs, records, writes, or reports news or information that concerns local events or other matters of local public interest.”
"That language implies the credits will go primarily towards small-town reporters. Requiring eligible journalists to work only 100 hours per quarter—less than 10 hours per week—suggests lawmakers want to support publications with part-time or freelance correspondents," Jacobs wrote.
"But it also raises the obvious question about why federal taxpayers need to fund what amounts to someone’s side hustle," he said, adding that he works about 100 hours per quarter for The Federalist but the publication would never be interested in getting hooked on federal handouts because they would no doubt come with strings attached (such as, you can never, ever, criticize the regime).
Jacobs went on to hypothesize that an outlet with around 700 employees could actually receive more than $37.5 million per year in tax dollars, giving it a large financial incentive to redefine all of its staff, including non-journalists, as "100-hour correspondents" so as to qualify for the graft.
This isn't just a terrible idea, it's one that will lead to the official creation of 'state media' -- not officially owned by the government, but the next best thing. And then watch government abuses soar.