Monday, April 23, 2007

Postal Rate Hikes to Crush Small Publishers

Jeez, this one came out of left field. The Post Office is hiking rates next month, and we all knew about that. But one thing I didn't know is that the new rates are set by something called the Postal Service Governors, and that is a hand-picked crowd of political cronies appointed by Der Monkey Fuehrer.

So what do they do? Like every other government advisory board jammed with hacks, they never met a large corporation they didn't like, and they bought off on -- swallowed whole -- media giant Time-Warner's plan to raise the rates on a lot of "little" magazines, while keeping theirs low.

Read the open letter from the publisher of The Nation to one James C. Miller III, the chairman of the Postal Board of Governors and be prepared to get pissed. (BTW, check out Miller's biograph and tell me if you don't think he's a poster boy for Rethug cronyism.)

Plus he's just an asshole: "[My budget employees] are the kind of people that run over dogs. [Pause] I meant that in the best possible way."

So back to the topic. When magazines like The Nation are being crippled it's become a freedom of the press issue, but you also know it's big when even shithead wingnut publishers like the National Review and the Weekly Standard are crying foul.

As it stands now, it's a done deal. It's going to happen.

But we can stop it.

Contact your federal representatives and tell them to roll back the postal rate increase for magazines.

Imagine a world in which only Big Media exists. It's like a world in which only Big Oil exists, in which only Wal-Mart exists, and it is not pretty. But we can do something about it.

As Thom Hartman says, the press was the ONLY private enterprise or business named in the US Constitution.

Think about it and make that call.

And you can drop by Freepress and sign a letter to Jimmy Miller III and tell him what you think.