Governor: John? It's the Governor here. Say, you guys there at the Bristol Press are doing a great job. Top notch. But there is that one reporter of yours making a big stink over our proposal to increase the state income tax. He really doesn't get what we're trying to do to help our state move forward. And you know, that bill to renew your paper's subsidy is coming up next week. I'd hate to see it get bogged down in the fuss over this. Know what I mean?
Editor: Um, yes, I know, sir.
The conversation is imaginary but the possibility is real. At least, it is if the proposal of seven Connecticut state legislators were ever to be adopted. As reported at the BristolToday blog, the seven have written a letter to the state's Commissioner of Economic and Community Development asking for state "help" for two struggling local newspapers in their districts. [H/t FReeper abb.]
When I lived in Mexico, the government used to sell newsprint to newspapers at deeply discounted prices. Needless to say, that discount was subject to being yanked if the papers printed something the government found disagreeable.
Ironically, the legislators claim they are seeking the state "help" because "we want the public to have access to independent news about what is going on in government and in our communities." If ever there were a way to undermine "independent news," this is it.
Note: I checked. What do you know? All the legislators who sent the letter are Democrats.