Google and Facebook on the Barbie

Hey Australia, the 1830s called and they want their media business model back.

It sounds terrible to modern ears, but in the early days of the newspaper industry, the “party press era,” papers were PR organs. Their job was to win elections and capture lucrative government advertising. Australia apparently seeks to create a similar dynamic, albeit with a legal and regulatory cloak thrown over it. Why should we care? Because legislators everywhere are watching closely. They see the same opening to suborn—er, support—a free press made vulnerable by the collapse in digital ad revenues. Our own venerated Sen. Bernie Sanders is among them.