Dead Trees Forever: Michael Kinsley Announces Plan to Save Newspapers

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By: E&P Staff

Although he is editorial page editor of the Los Angeles Times, Michael Kinsley still writes for other publications, and he did so on Sunday, penning a column for the Washington Post. And no wonder: Alarmed by the severe drops in circulation announced this week, he was moved to propose a wide-ranging plan to save newspapers as we (?members of the last generation that experienced life before computer screens?) know them.

Otherwise, ?the last newspaper subscriber will hang up on a renewal phone call that interrupts dinner on Oct. 17, 2016.?

Here are the highlights of his plan:

?The government must step in to stabilize the newspaper market through a program of ?newspaper circulation supports.? These would be similar to the agricultural price supports that have preserved a treasured American lifestyle (working from dawn to dusk seven days a week, except for a few brief hours a day down at the diner in town complaining about big government and welfare chiselers).?

?We must establish a Strategic Newspaper Reserve to reduce the nation’s dangerous dependence on foreign news.?

?The No Child Left Behind Act must be amended to guarantee that every young person in America graduates from junior high knowing how to read a newspaper.?

?Floyd Abrams, the nation’s most prominent and enthusiastic First Amendment lawyer, must come up with a reason why canceling your newspaper subscription, or failing to renew it, is unconstitutional. C’mon, Floyd — you’ve kept a straight face through claims about the rights of journalists that are almost as audacious as this one. Now is your chance to go for the gold.?

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