Phi Beta Cons

The News(eum) is in

I’ve been here in D.C. for a few days, and I used my Sunday to visit the new Newseum with some friends.
I cannot possibly improve on Andrew Ferguson’s impressions of the same, except to amplify them.
The museum’s modus operandi is a conflation of the freedoms of the First Amendment and the current state of journalism, as if its status quo is this freedom embodied. There is little self-criticism, lots of self-trumpeting, and an abundance of insipid “interactive” and multimedia features.
Among these are screens throughout the museum detailing the various sponsors of the museum — Gannett, the Tribune, News Corp — and explaining why they thought it was a worthwhile project. The short version of the museum that will spare you the $20 (!) admission price: Journalists’ bosses spend $571 million to build a giant museum extolling their employees’ public virtue on the most prime piece of undeveloped D.C. real estate. Conflict of interest, anyone?

Travis Kavulla is director of Energy and Environmental Policy at the R Street Institute. He is a former president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners who held elected office as a Montana public service commissioner for eight years. Before that, he was an associate editor for National Review.

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