A House Judiciary Committee hearing last week deteriorated into a press-bashing session in which "ideologues of the left and right made no effort to conceal their yearning for a day without journalists, when public officials would no longer be scrutinized," wrote Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank. But as University of Pennsylvania law professor C. Edwin Baker told the committee, "the biggest correlator with less government corruption is newspaper readership: When people are reading newspapers, corruption goes down." That's why Thomas Jefferson famously said that if asked to choose between "a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter."
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