When we last checked in with the Newseum, it had just accepted as an exhibit reporter Ben Jacobs eyeglasses, which were broken when then-candidate Greg Gianforte body-slammed him after he’d had enough questions from the press.

So what is the Newseum really for? An insider called it “a slow-motion disaster” earlier this year, and The Washington Post reported in February that the operators were considering either moving or shutting down:

The survival of the Newseum — which charges one of the city’s highest museum entrance fees at up to almost $25 per person — has long been in doubt as it has sought to compete for visitors and donors in a capital awash in free cultural institutions. In 2016, the museum operated at a substantial loss, spending $8.2 million more than the $55.7 million in revenue it generated, according to previously unreported tax documents. That was more than triple the shortfall from the previous year. The museum has posted an annual deficit every year since it opened in its current location, tax records show.

So, yeah, you can say it symbolizes free speech and freedom of the press, but really it’s just a museum of journalism that no one wants to pay $25 to see when they visit Washington. No wonder they’re not picky about selling “Fake News” T-shirts in the gift shop.

Jeff Jarvis, a professor of CUNY’s Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, just went to the store today after it said it would pull the “Fake News” T-shirts and was appalled to find MAGA hats and “Make America Great Again” pins still on shelves.

Like we pointed out above: the Newseum is probably a lot less concerned with why it exists right now than it is concerned if it’s going to exist in a year.

So what would Jarvis approve of in the Newseum gift shop? Marble busts of Dan Rather?

Maybe the Newseum will finally sell some admissions to protesters wanting to occupy the gift shop until it’s ideologically sanitized.


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