Satire only works when there’s room for exaggeration between a subject and its characterization. For politically conservative satirists like P.J. O’Rourke things are getting extremely cramped. About a month and a half ago, O’Rourke wrote,
HELLO? Bailout people? Mr Secretary of the Treasury Hank Paulson? Aren’t you forgetting somebody? Like me? I’m a print journalist. Talk about financial meltdown! Print journalists may soon have to send their kids to public schools, feed dry food to their cats and give up their leases on Prius automobiles and get the Hummers that are being offered at such deep discounts these days.
Today the Associated Press reports:
The French state is to help provide free newspaper subscriptions to teenagers for their 18th birthdays, President Nicolas Sarkozy announced Friday. But the bigger gift is for France’s ailing print media.
Sarkozy also announced a ninefold rise in the state’s support for newspaper deliveries and a doubling of its annual print advertising outlay amid a swelling industry crisis.
Sarkozy argued in a speech to publishers that the measures are needed because the global financial crisis has compounded woes for a sector already suffering from falling ad revenues and subscriptions.
Well, life imitating art is old news. What raises more concern is the newer phenomenon of American leaders imitating European socialists. O’Rourke just might be able to hang onto his Prius — even if it means forfeiting his calling.