we are the news now; new legislation may change that

This article was originally published on Conservative-Daily.com.


The narrative about the narrative is shifting in preparation for new legislation that just came out of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Congress must hold public hearings before passing JCPA into law.

Alternative news outlets are increasing in viewers and credibility simply by reporting the truth. In contrast, legacy media is hemorrhaging both viewers and credibility simply by carrying water for The State. It’s a simple cause and effect. 

This shifting media landscape not only hurts their wallets – it’s eroded their power, as Americans no longer trust what the talking heads and sell-pens are publishing. In other words, they’ve lost the public’s trust and they are looking to government to change the rules so they can get it back. 

Politico gets it, and they’re desperate to reframe the narrative. In a nauseating article this morning entitled, “The Reporters Who Proved That Journalism Is More Powerful Than Trump,” Politico Editor John Harris writes:

“For many decades, the Right has had a consistent critique of journalism: The profession’s purported standards of objectivity and detachment are a hoax. Most reporters and editors are liberal, the argument goes, and whether they realize it or not their coverage tilts undeniably in the same direction.

In recent years, however, the new and more interesting arguments in media criticism have come mostly from the Left. By these lights, journalism’s old conventions about partisan neutrality and covering all sides with equal skepticism are fatally flawed when the sides are not equal — when one side is trying to undermine election integrity, rule of law and plain truth, and the other is not.”

In the piece, Harris makes commendable observations about objective journalism while propping up Maggie Haberman as his example of journalists above reproach. Haberman is the NY Times columnist who practically foams at the mouth with malignant TDS.

Very Popular Legislation, Light on Details

The shifting narrative to repaint the exposed and biased journalistic establishment as independent truth tellers becomes more interesting when you look at Amy Klobuchar’s Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA), which just made it through the bipartisan Senate Judiciary Committee. 

“What we’re doing here is really, really important,” Klobuchar said. “We are at great risk of losing our news reporting because while U.S. newspapers’ ad revenue plummeted [from] $37 billion in 2008 to less than $9 billion in 2020, Google and Meta … became digital advertising titans, raking in billions in ad dollars while taking news content.”

The bill text is light on specifics, but we can draw some insight from the way they define their terms. According to the published text of the bill:

“NEWS CONTENT CREATOR.—The term “news content creator” means (A) any print, broadcast, or digital news organization that, (i) has a dedicated professional editorial staff that creates and distributes original news and related content concerning local, national, or international matters of public interest on at least a weekly basis; and (ii) is marketed through subscriptions, advertising, or sponsorship; and (B) (i) provides original news and related content with the editorial content consisting of not less than 25 percent current news and related content; or (ii) broadcasts original news and related content pursuant to a license granted by the Federal Communications Commission under title III of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 301 et seq.).”

Consider impacts to start-up news entities. 

“ONLINE CONTENT DISTRIBUTOR.—The term “online content distributor” means any entity that (A) operates a website or other online service that displays, distributes, or directs users to news articles, works of journalism, or other content on the internet that is generated by third-party news content creators; and (B) has not fewer than 1,000,000,000 monthly active users, in the aggregate, of all of its websites or online services worldwide.”

The stated purpose of the legislation is to further limit the liability of large news organizations:

“Limitation Of Liability.—A news content creator may not be held liable under the antitrust laws for engaging in negotiations with any other news content creator during the 4-year period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act to collectively withhold content from, or negotiate with, an online content distributor regarding the terms on which the news content of the news content creator may be distributed by the online content distributor, if (1) the negotiations with the online content distributor (A) are not limited to price; (B) are nondiscriminatory as to similarly situated news content creators; (C) directly relate to the quality, accuracy, attribution or branding, and interoperability of news; and (D) pertain to terms that would be available to all news content creators; (2) the coordination between the news content creators is directly related to and reasonably necessary for negotiations with an online content distributor that are otherwise consistent with this Act; and (3) the negotiations do not involve any person that is not a news content creator or an online content distributor.”

Support for JCPA is bipartisan, with Senators Cruz (R-TX) and Kennedy (R-LA) applauding the measures after they managed to get their amendment adopted. 

Congress must hold public hearings before passing JCPA into law.

Former President and CEO of Graham Media Group Emily Barr agrees, writing, “The JCPA, if passed, would allow local news providers — print, digital and broadcast — the opportunity to jointly and fairly negotiate the terms under which their content is accessed by Facebook, Apple, Amazon and others. It would go a long way toward leveling the playing field for broadcasters and local news providers and would allow us to negotiate for a fair return when our content runs on these platforms.”

I am not saying that the intentions of our benevolent Senate overlords isn’t pure. I’m not saying it is, either. The one thing we know for certain is that when government gets involved, the situation always gets worse due to unintended consequences. Government’s unintended consequences generally stem from (1) failing to fully understand the landscape and context of the issue at hand, and (2) failing to explore and mitigate the downstream effects of the proposed measures. 

Why is the US government setting terms for negotiation among media and technology companies? Antitrust laws, based on the definition referenced in the proposed legislation, are intended to “protect trade and commerce against unlawful restraints and monopolies.”

Since the Legislative Branch has failed to clarify Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act – a failure that has allowed unaccountable technology companies to act as both platforms and publishers without consequence – the power of these companies was expanded in the name of fairness and decency.

This legislation appears more of the same – it will do nothing to restrict the powers of technology companies. It may, in fact, expand their power. 

Unintended consequence? Or is that the entire point? 

Congress must hold public hearings before passing JCPA into law.


Here is today’s letter to congress.

ATTENTION CONGRESS:

The Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) is another attempt by Congress to level the playing field and prevent monopolies in media. It won’t, but that’s never stopped you all before. 

The one thing we know for certain is that when the government gets involved, the situation always gets worse due to unintended consequences. Government’s unintended consequences generally stem from, (1) failing to fully understand the landscape and context of the issue at hand, and (2) failing to explore and mitigate the downstream effects of the proposed measures. 

Since the Legislative Branch has failed to clarify Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act – a failure that has allowed unaccountable technology companies to act as both platforms and publishers without consequence – the power of these companies was expanded in the name of fairness and decency. 

This legislation appears more of the same – it will do nothing to restrict the powers of technology companies. It may, in fact, expand their power with arbitrary thresholds on bargaining rights. 

Unintended consequence? Or is that the entire point? 

Why is the federal government setting terms for negotiation among media and technology companies? 

The bill text put forward is too vague to provide any material protections for small media start-ups and independent creators. 

DEMAND FOR REMEDY: Prior to a vote on this legislation, you must hold PUBLIC hearings to understand the downstream impacts of your proposals. 

As the American People abandon traditional media and big tech for newer creators and distributors that prioritize Constitutional freedoms over state censorship and “agreed upon narratives,” this legislation appears poised to prop up failing media entities. 

That’s not your job. Remember the purpose for which you were sent. 

Congress must hold public hearings before passing JCPA into law.


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