Pelosi urges Justice to butt out of newspaper market in hometown

Bureaucracies never die.

The need for the Federal Communications Commission to control the “limited” and “publicly owned” broadcast spectrum was removed years ago with the advent of cable and satellite systems and the Internet.

Likewise applying anti-trust laws to newspapers, lest one company monopolize the advertising market and be able to set exorbitant rates, is ludicrous.

None the less, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi finds it incumbent upon herself to ask the Justice Department to give her hometown newspaper the San Francisco Chronicle, which has been bleeding advertising and circulation like few metro dailies in the country, a little leeway to work out a deal so it can survive, possibly a partnership with or purchase by MediaNews, which owns a number of newspapers in the Bay area.

(Disclosure, the company that owns the Review-Journal is minority partner with MediaNews in several California markets.)

In a letter to the Justice Department Pelosi sounds a free-market plea, saying the market forces will preserve as many news sources, as many viewpoints, and as many jobs as possible.”

What’s the point in letting the government have any say? The media business is now in a free-for-all. Newspapers are closing, cutting staff, becoming online only. Government should stand back and let the savviest newspaper win. If there is a need, someone will fill it.

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