Carlos Slim To Bailout The NY Times?
January 19, 2009, 05:24 PM
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The New York Times is the most influential journalistic institution in the world. The NYT decides, in the more marginal cases, for the rest of the news media what is and isn't national news. Obviously, if a jetliner lands in the Hudson River, everybody knows it's news. On the other hand, if a drunken stripper makes incoherent accusations against Duke lacrosse players, it's only national news if the NYT decides to run two dozen stories about it, which lets everybody else in the media know that its Real News Symbolic of Major Social Problems and thus they can sanctimoniously splash this salacious tripe.

The NYT, at present and probably for the future as well, a big money pit. No doubt it will have to downsize itself tremendously. But likely so will its major competitors, so the NYT's relative influence over the rest of the media is unlikely to decline much.

Meanwhile, as the federal government takes over control of ever more of the decreasing amount of wealth in America, the long term relative value of having a stake in the most powerful news arbiter should be increasing.

Mexican telephone monopolist, Carlos Slim, who didn't get to be more or less the richest man in the world by passing up a chance to influence the government, is thus, not surprisingly, in talks to help bailout the New York Times. Once you've gotten the Mexican government eating out of your hand, the logical next step is the American government.