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 — 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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