If you are worried about *your* interwebs being filled with Snooki clones, then you are doing it wrong.
And this is the whole point. With the social network stuffs (at least, the stuff that survives), it is *you* that defines your interwebs.
Don't want to hear about someone who constantly tweets their starbucks orders? Drop them!
What the social interwebs offers is Real Intelligence Filtering. Follow the right people, and information that *you* want, that you don't know about or even know you want, flows to you. And if you aren't drinking from the hose when the news is flowing, if it is a fleeting blip of info whose Best Before date goes by before you get online, it is obsolescent material that does not clog up your inbox.
This is real-time, crowd-sourced RSS feed of the entire internet. Google is great at finding what you know you want. Social webospheres are great at bringing you things you don't know to look for.
I would bet very heavily that those politicians of whom you speak have no use for, little respect for, and next to zero knowledge of the Internet.
Come on! The 'net has the twitters and the hamsters and those nasty pirates and the I Like Turtles and ...yikes!...young people.
It isn't a fallacy if you don't buy the main premise of the assertions. The Internet is not "creative"; everything on it is free so there is no "economy" (EVERYONE knows that economics is only about making money).
Supporting the "finished product" doesn't make sense, and here's just a couple of reasons why:
What is a "finished product" when works are iterative and based on others' works? Where does the work "finish"? Where does it "begin"?
We are supporting something that has zero marginal cost, and yet a variable initial cost. One song takes a day to write, another takes ten years. So supporting the "finished product" is not properly, proportionally or fairly compensating each artist.
The kid stealing stuff from the store is him taking a scarce resource. When he takes it, the store owner no longer has it. Your analogy is completely wrong. In the digital world, no one has lost anything...though I know that you are about to make a claim that the store owner loses a sale: but nothing guarantees anyone a sale.
You are confusing the cost of the production of something (the article indeed costs money to generate) with the cost of giving people that article (it costs ZERO to give someone a copy of the article digitally).
A business model around charging for a digital copy is going to kill you. There is no reason to charge for something that costs NOTHING. If you don't make your content free, then someone else will. This isn't a morality thing, this isn't a rogue culture thing. This is BASIC economics.
You need to build a business model where you are collecting money for the SCARCE resources you have. For example, why create the story before you get paid? Why not charge to have some type of live interaction with the journalists that created the article (webinars, live presentations, customized/personalized stories)? Why not charge for physical goods based on your digital goods (Best Of books, paraphernalia, etc...)? Why not charge for physical goods around the culture you create? Why not sell the attention of your audience (which is the way that newspapers/TV/radio have always made their money)?
Again, you are concerned about BB "stealing" a ZERO cost good. But they have created an audience because they are doing a BETTER JOB making the (ZERO cost) information interesting by building a community around it (and providing their own, better analysis, and organizing their stories better, and having better "branding", and engaging their audience better, and ...).
Suzanne, isn't the old way of doing business have the exact same problem? In order to get your music out there, you need to press vinyl, market, knock on DJs' doors (and grease their palms), etc... ?
How is this "connect with fans" any different than in the past? The only real change here is that the moneys flow from slightly different channels, and the middlemen (those with the resources to press vinyl) have less power.
So the promoters of the past need to change their ways. With digital technologies, artists (or their fans!) can cut into the promoters' business, so the promoters have to work harder to earn their keep. But the successful ones will leverage the efficiencies of technology to reduce their costs, increase their coverage and ultimately make more money.
Artists today can be as involved or as removed as they would like. Does Annie Lennox really write her own Facebook updates? From the way I read them, I doubt it. Does David Byrne really write his own blog? I believe he does. Yet I follow both and feel connected. I certainly get more up-to-date information about their shows and new releases than I have in the past, because I sought them out via direct social channels rather than the days of the middlemen seeking me via broadband.