The California legislature is moving closer to passing a bill called the Journalism Preservation Act, and Facebook/Meta owner Mark Zuckerberg is not happy about it. For once, we actually agree with Zuckerberg—although not for the same reasons.
If passed into law, it would impose a new tax on the ad revenue that all social media companies generate by distributing news articles. The tax money would then be used to help prop up the failing fake news outlets in California instead of letting them go broke like all other private companies have to do when they lose their customer base. Zuckerberg has threatened to block all news posts on Facebook/Meta if the bill becomes law.
Once this tax goes into effect, 70% of the money generated by it would go to failing California newsrooms to help prop them up. Zuckerberg is threatening to block all news completely from his platform in hopes of protecting his investors from the lost revenue. He is interested in protecting his bottom line, and that’s fine. It’s his job, after all.
The thing that no one is talking about in this is the inherently absurd idea that one type of business should be taxed exclusively to prevent a different type of business from failing. Farmers are having a rough time in America right now because of Joe Biden’s sky-high fuel prices. Should we tax dentists to help the farmers out? Where exactly does this idea end?
California Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland) sponsored the bill. She says, “As news consumption has moved online, community news outlets have been downsized and closing at an alarming rate.”
It’s true that news consumption has moved online. It’s no longer 1983, and no one other than a few baby boomers still want to have a newspaper delivered to their doorstep every morning. However, that’s not the reason why news outlets are downsizing and closing “at an alarming rate.” They’re going out of business because their product stinks.
People used to think that the media exhibited “liberal bias.” That was never the case, and the illusion has been permanently shattered by the likes of President Donald Trump and Tucker Carlson. The media has become outright propaganda outlets for the Democrat Party and permanent Washington, otherwise known as the Deep State. Just look at how many former spooks populate the airwaves on CNN and MSNBC.
The press is now the “fake news media,” and their audience is never coming back. They’re sticking around to read quality articles from outlets just like this one. We have an openly conservative slant, and even if readers don’t agree with everything we’re reporting, at least we’re honest about where we’re coming from. We don’t sit here and lie to our readers by claiming that we are “fair and objective.”
Another problem with the California Journalism Preservation Act is that every newsroom that accepts the tax funds to prop up its business model will now basically be turned into NPR. Government money always has strings attached, and this will be no different. If a reporter tries to do a story that is critical of the loony leftwing legislature in California, their state funds will dry up. The incentive will be to keep lying to news consumers for the benefit of the government.
If you think the news media is bad now, wait until every outlet sounds exactly like the North Korean News Service. “Be sure to thank the Glorious Leader Gavin Newsom for a bountiful rice harvest!”
The bill is expected to pass in the California Assembly soon, and then it will be forwarded to the Senate. The question now is whether Zuckerberg will be able to shut the new tax plan down or if he’s just angling for a better deal for Facebook/Meta.