I want to do a more detailed post on this subject, but here are a few thoughts.
Our founders had a very clear opinion that all rights and liberties were interconnected and that attacks one right one would cause the collapse of all others. For example, they didn't think a person, company or group could keep their independence from the state without an absolute right to their private property and contract rights. How could a newspaper, or any person be fully free from government coercion in a place where, the state controlled media licenses which they could pull at will, or provided subsidies and hand outs.
Th Fascist state goes to great extremes to make sure that nothing and nobody can be fully independent but it doesn't always do this by directly seizing all private property. Instead it uses a process of subsidies, licenses and other state powers to threaten and control the flow of ideas, much like the king did only on a bigger scale.
Please keep this in mind when looking at current media reporting. The three major networks are always under the threat of having their licenses revoked if they don't act in whatever the current leader or gang considers "the public interest".
Of course, we know on top of this, there is now "public TV" and "public radio" which get a large chunk of their money directly from the government which should, for any sane person exclude them as a possibly objective source of news about the state.
However, the ever increasing bailouts have added a new ingredient to the mix.
Can GE, which owns NBC and MSNBC and other media assets, really be considered an independent company anymore? Remember, that GE has taken billions of dollars in TARP money to shore up it's troubled and huge GE Capital unit. It's also almost surely on the "too big to fail list" of companies that administration has said will never be allowed to go down. How many of their toxic assets have been bought by the FED is a secret as are those of many huge banks that owe it money in some way.
Add to this the fact that GE is also a huge defense contractor and has a host of units hoping to cash in on "stimulus spending" and you have to question if it can have any independence at all.