More First Amendment regulatory threats

Leftists and the Deep State can’t wait to continue pushing for the diminishment and possible erasure of your First Amendment rights.

The FEC has been after the Drudge Report for years. So has the FCC. This, on its face, is a ridiculous goal. Matt Drudge hasn’t actually written anything for years; his site is nothing more than a laughingly-simplistic point on the internet that does nothing more than aggregate stories from around the globe.

That’s right. All the Drudge Report does is re-package stories written entirely from external sources. His source material is frequently the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, Reuters, the AP, Slate, the Huffington Post, NPR, The Guardian — all bastions of Left-leaning journalism.

No matter; never allow facts, history, logic, rationality, proportion or common sense get in the way of a good fucked-up Leftist inclination, decision or bill. Not surprisingly, it’s a push from the FEC once again.

From the WashingtonExaminer.com:

Drudge, Facebook, NYT readers could face libel suits for sharing ‘fake news’

by Paul Bedard

Political content on the internet, paid or not, should face substantial federal regulation to eliminate undefined “disinformation,” and users of platforms and news feeds, from Facebook, to Twitter, to the Drudge Report and even New York Times, could be punished for sharing “fake news” from those sites, the former Democratic chair of the FEC is urging.

In a broad proposal that adds threatening libel suits to regulatory plans already pushed by Democrats on the Federal Election Commission, ex-chair Ann Ravel believes that there is support for expanded regulation in the wake of reports foreign governments spent $100,000 on 2016 political ads on Facebook.

At whom, potentially, is this proposal aimed? Correct: you and me. People interested in politics and have sites on the internet as well as a social media presence. People who conduct internet radio shows. Like me. That’s next. Make no mistake.

She would include “fake news,” not just paid ads, to be regulated, though it’s never defined other than the Democrat’s description of “disinformation.” And anybody who shares or retweets it could face a libel suit.

Friends, this is a page ripped from the former Soviet Union. Your gulag awaits you!

She would also use regulation to “improve voter competence,” according to the new proposal titled Fool Me Once: The Case for Government Regulation of ‘Fake News.’ Ravel, who now lectures at Berkeley Law, still has allies on the FEC who support internet regulation.

Berkeley, of course — the locus of free speech in America.

The proposal immediately came under fire from from the Republican FEC commissioner who for years has been warning of the left’s effort to regulate political talk they don’t like, especially on conservative newsfeeds like Drudge.

Lee Goodman told Secrets, “Ann’s proposal is full blown regulation of all political content, even discussion of issues, posted at any time, for free or for a fee, on any online platform, from Facebook to the NewYorkTimes.com.”

He was especially critical of the undefined nature of “disinformation” to be regulated and the first-ever call for libel suits to snuff out talk Ravel doesn’t like.

And just whom determines “disinformation”? Kompromat or disinformatzia, tovarisch? A panel of Conservatives or a panel of Leftists? Correct. Leftists. Conservatives won’t be allowed within ten miles of a determination.

In their proposal, the trio wrote, “after a social media user clicks ‘share’ on a disputed item (if the platforms do not remove them and only label them as disputed), government can require that the user be reminded of the definition of libel against a public figure. Libel of public figures requires ‘actual malice,’ defined as knowledge of falsity or reckless disregard for the truth. Sharing an item that has been flagged as untrue might trigger liability under libel laws.”

We already have Speech Crimes in LeftistLand. There may be ClickCrimes. MindCrimes are, of course, next.

Here is the full Ravel article for reference.

Then there is this from YahooNews.com, with John McCain in apparent agreement.

U.S. bill to regulate internet ads gains bipartisan support with McCain

by David Ingram

(Reuters) – U.S. legislation that would impose new disclosure requirements on political ads that run on Facebook and other websites received support on Wednesday from Senator John McCain, giving a bipartisan boost to a bill already popular among Democrats.

McCain, a longtime supporter of regulating campaign finances, and two Democratic senators, Amy Klobuchar and Mark Warner, plan to introduce the legislation on Thursday, according to a statement from their offices on Wednesday.

Good old John McCain. You can generally count on him to put his thumb in the eyes of freedom of speech any more. Or anything that he perceives President Trump might possibly support.

Online political ads are much more loosely regulated in the United States than political ads on television, radio and satellite services.

The lack of regulation was highlighted last month when Facebook Inc, Alphabet Inc’s Google and Twitter Inc said that they had found election-related ad buys on their services made by people in Russia in the run-up to last year’s U.S. presidential election. Non-Americans are generally not allowed to spend money to influence U.S. elections.

How about, instead of law after law, we just ask the social media to be more wary? Anyone think of that?

Speaking of Loving John, here is a bit of witty repartee between McCain and Fox’s Peter Doocey.

The question by Doocy was “has your relationship with the president frayed to the point where you’re not going to support anything that he comes to you and asks support for?”

McCain replies: “why would you ask anything that stupid? Why would you ask something that dumb? Huh? My job as a United States senator, as a senator from Arizona which I was just re-elected to, you mean that I’m somehow going to behave in a way that I’m going to block everything because of some personal disagreement? That’s a dumb question.”

Let’s see, John. Would that possibly be because you are in fact so vehemently opposed to most anything that President Trump has proposed, that you’ve worked hand-in-hand with the Demorats to slaughter the repeal of the ACA much less any replacement — you know, the very thing you ran on for eight years — as well as the slaughter of tax cuts? With regularity and consistency? John? Perhaps those things?

And John, while we’re at it, have you forgotten what you said in Philadelphia this Monday, October 16th?

PHILADELPHIA — An emotional Sen. John McCain on Monday leveled a blistering attack on what he called the “half-baked, spurious nationalism” that seems to have inspired President Trump’s administration to retreat from the world stage.

In a speech to accept the National Constitution Center’s Liberty Medal, McCain, R-Ariz., emphasized that the United States is “a land made of ideals, not blood and soil,” a rebuke to the Nazi slogan about bloodlines and territory chanted in August by White supremacists demonstrating in Charlottesville, Va.

An at-times raspy-sounding McCain drew applause and cheers at the Philadelphia event when he said:

“To fear the world we have organized and led for three-quarters of a century, to abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain ‘the last, best hope of earth’ for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems is as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history.”

A reminder:

I value two things primarily: honesty and clarity. So let’s be clear: the only reason the FEC or the FCC wish to limit and regulate speech under the guise of “fairness” or “equanimity” is to limit the speech of only one side: the conservative side. To limit the dissemination of information which thusly informs voters and allows Conservatives to acquire facts, data and particulars on political issues.

Because, after all, everything is political now.

Finally: where are the Republicans on this? Why no public GOP umbrage over the issue? Statements? Decisions to oppose? Republicans taking a stand against this?

Another reason Conservative trust in the GOP has almost vanished. Another reason that Republican fundraising is down this quarter. Consequences for inaction? Gridlock? Failure to keep election promises? Failure to coalesce and utilize power the GOP possesses presently?

Not difficult to figure out.

BZ

P.S.

Great article on the Fairness Doctrine from 1993 is here.

 

FEC wants to remove your freedoms — again

First, from the WashingtonExaminer.com:

FEC Dems renew bid to regulate Internet, Drudge, ‘not done fighting’

by Paul Bedard

They’ve repeatedly tried and failed to impose regulations on Internet political communications, possibly even media sites like the Drudge Report, but congressional testimony that unnamed Russians spent $100,000 for politically themed ads on Facebook is sparking a new bid by Democrats on the Federal Election Commission.

You say the US government has tried on prior occasions to censor the Drudge Report? Yes. By the FCC as I wrote here on May 5th of 2015, and here on August 24h of 2015.

The FEC, specifically, tried back in 2014 as Paul Bedard, the author of this newest article above, documented here:

FEC chair warns that conservative media like Drudge Report and Sean Hannity face regulation — like PACs

by Paul Bedard

Government officials, reacting to the growing voice of conservative news outlets, especially on the internet, are angling to curtail the media’s exemption from federal election laws governing political organizations, a potentially chilling intervention that the chairman of the Federal Election Commission is vowing to fight.

The real truth is this — no more complicated.

“The right has begun to break the left’s media monopoly, particularly through new media outlets like the internet, and I sense that some on the left are starting to rethink the breadth of the media exemption and internet communications,” he added.

When you cannot win the war of ideas, that is to say “the message,” then your only alternative is to shut down “the messenger” which, in these cases, translates to the internet itself and some sites specifically, like Drudge. Mine is next. So is yours.

(FEC Chairman Lee Goodman) added, “Truth be told, I want conservative media to have the same exemption as all other media.”

That translates to, as I have said for quite some time: “No one is equal until everyone is equal.”

The history explained here, as well.

You can already see the Leftist social media giants shutting down free speech. But whose free speech? Those on the right. Leftist speech remains predominantly uninterrupted, undisturbed and inviolate unless it is so shockingly egregious that even the American Media Maggots begin to notice a bit. Even then, not consistently. Death threats against President Trump on Twitter, for example, tend to remain unless they are somehow brought to light. Massive light.

Then don’t forget about this aspect.

Liberals over the years have also pushed for a change in the Federal Communications Commission‘s “fairness doctrine” to cut off conservative voices, and retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens has delighted Democrats recently with a proposed Constitutional amendment that some say could force the media to stop endorsing candidates or promoting issues.

At one point the “fairness doctrine” — which is the precise opposite, of course — ruled in media. Its attempt, originally, was to actually ensure some semblance of “fairness” in broadcasting when media choices were extremely limited, the precise opposite of today.

See my previous posts about the so-called “Fairness Doctrine”:

I value two things primarily: honesty and clarity. So let’s be clear: the only reason the FEC or the FCC wish to limit and regulate speech under the guise of “fairness” or “equanimity” is to limit the speech of only one side: the conservative side. To limit the dissemination of information which thusly informs voters and allows Conservatives to acquire facts, data and particulars on political issues.

Because, after all, everything is political now.

Finally: where are the Republicans on this? Why no public GOP umbrage over the issue? Statements? Decisions to oppose? Republicans taking a stand against this?

Another reason Conservative trust in the GOP has almost vanished.

Not difficult to figure out.

BZ

P.S.

Great article on the Fairness Doctrine from 1993 is here.

 

“Net neutrality” to censor Drudge, Fox and ME?

Freedom of Speech StoppedAh yes, Leftists soon to get what they want, the censorship of those who oppose their policies?

As per normal it isn’t Republicans or Conservatives or those on the right who want to remove your freedoms and specifically your First Amendment freedoms, it is those who profess to be the most embracing and the most understanding and tolerant who wish to remove your freedoms: the Demorats and Leftists and so-called Progressives.

From the WashingtonExaminer.com:

Drudge, Fox News could be censored under new federal rules, experts warn

by Rudy Takala

A Washington, D.C., appeals court is set to hear arguments later this year on new net neutrality rules, which critics say could lead to government regulators censoring websites such as the Drudge Report and Fox News.

In its February vote on net neutrality, the Federal Communications Commission stated that broadband providers do not have a right to free speech. “Broadband providers are conduits, not speakers … the rules we adopt today are tailored to the important government interest in maintaining an open Internet as a platform for expression,” the majority held in its 3-2 vote.

The rules, which went into effect in June, require that broadband providers — such as Verizon or Comcast — offer access to all legal online content. It did not place such a requirement on “edge providers,” such as Netflix and Google. The FCC defines edge providers as “any individual or entity that provides any content, application, or service over the Internet, and any individual or entity that provides a device used for accessing any content, application, or service over the Internet.”

No right to free speech?

Writing in separate briefs, former FCC Commissioner Harold Furchtgott-Roth and the Center for Boundless Innovation in Technology argues that the rules violate the First Amendment right of Internet providers to display the speech they choose.

“If rules such as these are not reviewed under the most rigorous scrutiny possible, government favoritism and censorship masquerading as ‘neutrality’ will soon cascade to other forms of mass communication,” the center argues.

“If the court upholds the FCC’s rules, the agency’s authority over the Internet would extend from one end to the other,” Fred Campbell, president of the Center for Boundless Innovation in Technology, told the Washington Examiner. “Because the same theories the FCC relied on to impose its new regulations on Internet service providers are also applicable to companies like Apple and Netflix, the FCC could extend its regulatory reach much further in the future.”

Could that “reach” mean me?  And you?  Our opinions on social media?  Any bit of written expression that involves an opinion or even a viewpoint?

More pointedly, our political opinions?  Opinions that could contradict those of the regime in power, as Mr Obama or others of power in DC?

Specifically, Campbell said, the FCC will likely try to control political speech.

“This possibility raises the risk that Congress or the FCC could impose restrictions on Internet video and other services that have traditionally been imposed on over the air broadcasting and cable television, including the fairness doctrine that once put the government in charge of determining whether broadcasters were fairly representing both sides of an issue,” he explained.

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, who voted against the net neutrality rules, has said such restrictions may be coming if net neutrality is allowed to stand, warning in March that online political content like the Drudge Report could face greater regulation.

Why is it, however, that only Drudge and Fox News should be targeted?  Is it because the “rest” of the news agencies are so terribly unbiased — such as NBC, CBS, ABC and CNN?  It is no shock that there is much Left-wing bias in the newsrooms of what most would term the “mainstream media.”  Bernard Goldberg knew this years ago.  There are very few Republicans and right-wingers in MSM newsrooms.

Further, clearly the ignorant don’t know that Drudge doesn’t write news; the DrudgeReport is nothing more than a news aggregator.  It collects and collates news from sources around the globe, then slugs stories with a headline that catches.

Is this really the United States of America, when something like this could actually happen?

BZ

 

BZ’s very own federal government: coming for MY First Amendment rights

First Amendment WrappedFirst, from the WashingtonExaminer.com:

Dems on FEC move to regulate Internet campaigns, blogs, Drudge

by Paul Bedard

In a surprise move late Friday, a key Democrat on the Federal Election Commission called for burdensome new rules on Internet-based campaigning, prompting the Republican chairman to warn that Democrats want to regulate online political sites and even news media like the Drudge Report.

Democratic FEC Vice Chair Ann M. Ravel announced plans to begin the process to win regulations on Internet-based campaigns and videos, currently free from most of the FEC’s rules. “A reexamination of the commission’s approach to the internet and other emerging technologies is long over due,” she said.

Does anyone with a semblance of common sense realize, for example, what the Drudge Report actually is?  For the most part Matt Drudge doesn’t write his stories; his site is merely an aggregator of stories from around the globe and around the internet.

He takes them and collates them, then places them on his site with accompanying headlines.  It is the headlines and the types of stories featured on Drudge to which Leftists object.  They also object to Drudge’s massive popularity and his incalculable hit ratio.

When Drudge makes a link to a story, that site’s servers can frequently be downed due to the quantity of hits.  To object to Drudge, however, is to object to reality.

“I told you this was coming.”

Under a 2006 FEC rule, free political videos and advocacy sites have been free of regulation in a bid to boost voter participation in politics. Only Internet videos that are placed for a fee on websites, such as the Washington Examiner, are regulated just like normal TV ads.

Ravel’s statement suggests that she would regulate right-leaning groups like America Rising that posts anti-Democrat YouTube videos on its website.

FEC Chairman Lee E. Goodman, a Republican, said if regulation extends that far, then anybody who writes a political blog, runs a politically active news site or even chat room could be regulated. He added that funny internet campaigns like “Obama Girl,” and “Jib Jab” would also face regulations.

“I told you this was coming,” he told Secrets. Earlier this year he warned that Democrats on the panel were gunning for conservative Internet sites like the Drudge Report.

An incredibly important final paragraph:

“Regrettably, the 3-to-3 vote in this matter suggests a desire to retreat from these important protections for online political speech — a shift in course that could threaten the continued development of the Internet’s virtual free marketplace of political ideas and democratic debate,” they concluded.

Ladies and gentlemen, when did you ever possibly believe that your First Amendment rights could even remotely be threatened by some capricious force that is not guaranteed by your federal government in its Bill of Rights or US Constitution?

Is that not insane?  Your federal government threatening its own guarantees?

BZ

US Flag Under Attack