Dateline New York, London, Paris: With American and world markets still reeling from a financial crisis based on the uncertain value of subprime mortgages, journalists took a second hit today when it was revealed that much of their subprime news is defaulting at a higher-than-advertised rate.
“These news traders are like anyone else” an internet spokesman explained today. “They have been exchanging complex news derivatives and making a reputation for themselves. No one wanted to ask the real value of the underlying news. Everyone had an interest in pretending that everything was fine. This led to a “news bubble” where news speculators were artificially driving up the value.”
“No one knows what these news derivatives are worth,” a news industry official speaking on condition of anonymity admitted. “The smaller news sources – your sports scores, local elections, and police reports – we think those still have value. It’s the big news outlets like the Associated Press and the NY Times that are in trouble. They’re holding a lot of Obama and McCain news that they’ve invested in heavily. These have been repackaged and sold to other outlets on the secondary market.”
News-watchers have begun to ask whether a government bailout, including increased congressional oversight might be in store. Sources close to the president acknowledged that the idea had been discussed, but the administration was leaning toward letting the information market take its natural course. “This president is reluctant to intervene with heavy-handed government controls. If some news organizations have invested in bad news, they should be the ones to bear the responsibility of that, not the American people.” Congressional leaders, however, are adopting a more aggressive tone. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are both considering legislation to set the value of news. “We’ll tell them what it’s worth,” an anonymous staffer declared. “We’ll buy up all the news and decide what’s valuable for the American people to know and what isn’t, then sell it back to the press. The American people have the right to be told what their news is worth without having big corporations making those decisions behind closed doors.”