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De Omnibus Dubitandum - Lux Veritas

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Media companies bill is bait and switch to strangle conservative outlets

March 24, 2021 By Ken Blackwell

The Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JPCA) is a bait-and-switch attempt that claims to help conservative news sources but would instead purge them from the marketplace of ideas. Congress should reject it for the freedom-killer it is.

JCPA would give media companies — broadcast and print — an exemption from federal antitrust laws, so they can operate in a coordinated fashion to negotiate prices that social media companies like Facebook would have to pay them to carry their content. It would ensure that these tech billionaires would have to direct some of their riches into content providers.

But that's a Big Boys' game, where the major players could decide whom to let into their club. Smaller outlets would be left out in the cold, and the market would suffer.

This is because almost all of the Big Boys are liberal. For print, there are the New York Times and the Washington Post. For video content providers, you have the networks, CNN, and MSNBC. The twin star performers owned by News Corp — Fox News Channel and the Wall Street Journal — are some of the only ones to the right of the 50-yard line.

The bill's supporters say it would help small, conservative outlets like the one you're reading now. No chance. I talk almost daily with friends on Capitol Hill, and I heard from them the names of a couple of hard-charging right-wing outlets who were supposed to be the beneficiaries of this legislation. But then I talked with the CEO of one of those companies and found out that no one had approached him on this bill before it was rolled out. (For that matter, he opposes it.)

Aside from having done thousands of interviews over the past half-century, I used to be part owner of some radio stations and know how the media industry works. The reality is this: media companies prefer cartels and monopolies, just like many other businesses.

This provides them a chance to have one without the lean and hungry conservative happy warriors. Offer a bill with the sales pitch that it will protect those citizen-journalists, then have the big dogs circle the wagons on terms that the social giants must meet for huge corporations, and then keep those citizen-journalists outside the circle..........To Read More....



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