The Left in general, and journalists specifically, are having a hard time with the recent Detroit bankruptcy.
Detroit has been a literal liberal paradise, with its solely Democrat controlled government, rampant unionization, and spend-like-there’s-no-tomorrow approach to city finances. After observing the various reporting over the last few days, I’m now convinced that most reporters simply don’t comprehend what happened.
It’s not that they aren’t biased: they are. But it’s more than that. They’re also economic morons.
Personally, I blame their schooling:
Just look at them: poor MSNBC seems stuck in the first stage of grief, as they keep trying to portray Detroit as the result of something other than a 50 year episode of ‘Libs-Gone-Wild‘. The rest of the media is following suit as they continually point out the dismaying destruction, even as they avoid naming the actual destroyers.
They’re all behaving as if this once-magnificent city simply had a heart attack and keeled over, instead of it being tortured to death for the better part of five decades.
But for a wonderfully apt corollary, we need look no further than American Journalism’s Mecca: Washington D.C.. It’s there where the American, modern-day temple to Journalism, the “Newseum”, is currently on a scarily similar trajectory to Detroit.
Now, if Journalists were just playacting at their economic ignorance, this story wouldn’t exist. But they most definitely aren’t playacting.
From the Richmond Times-Dispatch:
In five years since moving to its new home overlooking the U.S. Capitol, the Newseum has become a major attraction with 4 million people visiting its exhibits about journalism and the First Amendment.
Public financial documents show revenue fell short of expenses by millions of dollars in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
Its parent organization, the Freedom Forum, has used its endowment to provide the bulk of the Newseum’s operating revenue, and the endowment’s principal value has steadily declined from $600 million to about $373 million at the end of 2011.
Yes, the national Museum of Journalism is inexplicably hemorrhaging millions of dollars annually, even though it’s both popular AND the city’s most expensive museum ($22 for adults; $13 for youth). Worse, it’s making up the annual deficit by draining their generous endowment:
It has drawn more visitors each year since it moved to its current location, including 817,000 in 2012. Still, the museum’s heavy reliance on the Freedom Forum’s endowment concerned several museum management consultants. In 2011, the endowment provided nearly half the Newseum’s $63.7 million revenue. In 2010, it was more than half.
Museums with healthy balance sheets would generally draw (only) 20 to 30 percent of their revenue from an endowment, said Barry Lord, co-president of the museum consultancy Lord Cultural Resources.
So, even though the Newseum charges more than any other local museum and is incredibly popular, it’s still somehow killing the Golden Goose on which it depends.
Hey! Kinda’ like (okay, EXACTLY like) what happened to
General Government Motors. Or Detroit. Or what’s currently occurring with (*shudder*) the United States itself.
Only time will tell if the Newseum will be able to stay afloat on its own, or will need a ‘bailout’ of sorts (although I know which way I’m betting...).
But the moral of this story should be clear by now: if liberal journalists can’t even manage to run their own profession’s museum profitably, it’s no wonder their standard-bearers can’t accurately identify the culprits when an entire city goes bankrupt.
And it’s even less of a shock that they don’t see the inevitable result of what a $16+ TRILLION debt promises for our nation.
— Conrad Black, 2012