Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Language That You Use

This is potentially quite alarming:

The Obama administration has announced plans to regulate the Internet through the Federal Communications Commission, extending its authority over broadband providers to police web traffic, enforcing “net neutrality.”

Last week, a congressional hearing exposed an effort to give another agency—the Federal Election Commission—unprecedented power to regulate political speech online. At a House Administration Committee hearing last Tuesday, Patton Boggs attorney William McGinley explained that the sloppy statutory language in the “DISCLOSE Act” would extend the FEC’s control over broadcast communications
to all “covered communications,” including the blogosphere.

Cool -- I'm gonna get me a bureaucrat minder! There's more:

The DISCLOSE Act’s purpose, according to Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chair Chris Van Hollen and other “reformers,” is simply to require disclosure of corporate and union political speech after the Supreme Court’s January decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission held that the government could not ban political expenditures by companies, nonprofit groups, and labor unions.

The bill, however, would radically redefine how the FEC regulates political commentary. A section of the DISCLOSE Act would exempt traditional media outlets from coordination regulations, but the exemption does not include bloggers, only “a communication appearing in a news story, commentary, or editorial distributed through the facilities of any broadcasting station, newspaper, magazine or other periodical publication…”

Emhpasis mine. I'm guessing that my dining room table doesn't count as any of those things, so I'm subject to the ministrations of this law. What does "coordination" mean in this context? If I talk to Night Writer, am I coordinating? If I get an e-mail from the Emmer campaign, is that coordinating? Lot of meat to chew on this bone, I'm thinking....


Bike Bubba said...

Sounds like a good time to really tick some bureaucrats off....

Night Writer said...

It's as if they want to replay and apply the Second Amendment argument all over again, this time with the First Amendment. With the Second, the oppressors tried to argue that an individual right to bear arms actually only applied to a collective, "well-regulated militia". Now they want to say that the individual right of free speech is available only to a "well-regulated media".

The struggle is as always, through the centuries, to pursue and preserve individual liberty from those who seek to control through the Collective - albeit a Collective controlled by a very few. The talking heads always obscure this with misdirection and misleading labels. Though you can believe the Talking Heads: "Same as it ever was, same as it ever was, same as it...ever...was."

As for coordinating with me, there's no one more uncoordinated than myself.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good way to intimidate people and to swell the ranks of bureaucrats, both apparent goals of this administration.