In an otherwise mostly funny roast at the annual White House Correspondents Dinner in Washington DC Saturday evening (May 9), President Barack Obama ended on a serious note, pledging his undying support for journalists and specifically newspapers.
President Obama spoke about media job losses and changes in the industry, then quoted Jefferson, “if he had the choice between Government with newspapers or newspapers without Government, he’d choose the latter.” The gushing was perhaps understandable at a press function, but it’s what he said next that foretold of a newspaper bailout.
Obama told the crowd “Your ultimate success is essential to success of our democracy” before shortly saying “Government without a tough and vibrant media is not an option for the United States of America.”
The notable thing in context is that Obama primarily in the speech talks about newspapers, with other media outlets being mentioned second (collectively), or when making a joke (for example, noting that Jefferson hadn’t seen Cable News.) It would appear from the speech clearly that Obama holds the mainstream media, and particularly newspapers above online media. It is clear that when he talked about “tough and vibrant media” that he is referring to mainstream media, and newspapers in particular.
He concludes with the line that the problems in the media industry are “problems worth solving,” which sounds an awful lot like the final word that there’s going to be a newspaper bailout.
One interesting thing of note: as of early Sunday morning (US time) May 10, all MSM outlets have ignored the remarks: the tough and vibrant media are ignoring a virtual head job from the Commander and Chief of the United States, right before he’s going to pay a huge check for the privilege of having given it to begin with. Tough and vibrant media indeed.
From 12:45 in the video following: