Scam-o-rama, journalism style
Presidential debates aren’t the only times journalists seem to lose track of their role in society. A current campaign by Kansas Press Association to get people to donate to local newspapers is a scam that journalists ought to be exposing not espousing.
Through a maze of incorporated entities, you now can give tax-deductable contributions to a tax-exempt group that will end up laundering the money and funneling it to a for-profit newspaper that advertises the charity.
Were any other industry to organize a gimmick like this, journalists would be the first to point it out as a scam.
It’s not that we don’t want or need support from our communities. It’s just that we would rather see that support come from buying subscriptions or ads.
These are challenging times for all businesses, newspapers included. But the answer isn’t the creeping socialism of government giveaways or the shady loopholes of laundering contributions through registered charities.
The candidate we wish were on the ballot next month is Teddy Roosevelt. What’s needed now more than ever is some of the old trust-busting that took apart gigantic corporations that made it impossible for the American dream to be achieved by anyone other than the uber-wealthy.
In Teddy’s day, it was companies like Standard Oil that were targeted. These days, it’s giants like Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Walmart that exert strangleholds others struggle to survive.
Breaking them up, denying them special privileges that have allowed their gargantuan growth, or forcing them to abandon anti-competitive policies would be greatly preferred to yet more handouts or laundered charity.
— ERIC MEYER
Last modified Oct. 22, 2020