Big Government, Corruption, Issues, Regulation

FEC: No freedom of press for Internet publications, satellite TV and radio, streaming movies and printed books

3

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) has decided to remain a step behind the changing technological world, likely so that they can still have a place in our government. After an FEC meeting and vote it has been decided that the organization would continue its censorship of Internet based websites, radio, streamed movies and even books. Effectively allowing the organization to maintain control over a significant portion of modern American media.

An amendment submitted to the FEC on Sept. 29, 2016 by Commissioner Lee Goodman specifically aimed at modernizing exemptions to FEC regulation in accordance with technological changes in the 21 century was struck down by Democrats led by Ann Ravel, who called the attempt “pitiful.”

Ravel won based on a split 3-3 decision, meaning the law would stand as is without an expansion of the “press exemption” which currently states that “a media entity’s costs for carrying news stories, commentary and editorials are not considered ‘contributions’ or ‘expenditures.’”

With Goodman’s proposal online blogs, documentaries, satellite radio and books would be free of FEC regulation and suppression. As Goodman defends, this would clarify the law without changing it. Why?

Because it would follow the framers’ intention within the First Amendment of the Constitution where freedom of press is explicitly outlined. They did not mean the “press” as some elite cadre of journalists, they meant the printing press, as explained by UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh in his 2011 paper on the topic, “The Freedom…of the Press, from 1791 to 1868 to Now:  Freedom for the Press as an Industry, or the Press as a Technology?”

“Through-out American history, the dominant understanding of the Free Press Clause (and its state constitutional analogs) has followed the press-as-technology model. This was likely the original meaning of the First Amendment. It was pretty certainly the understanding when the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified. It was the largely unchallenged orthodoxy until about 1970,” Volokh writes.

Volokh continues, “Since 1970, a few lower court decisions have adopted the press-as-industry model. But this has been a distinctly minority view. Supreme Court majority opinions have continued to provide equal treatment to speakers without regard to whether they are members of the press as industry. And while several opinions have noted that the question remains open, the bulk of the precedents point towards equal treatment for all speakers — or at least to equal treatment for all who use mass communications technologies, whether or not they are members of the press as industry.”

The freedom of the press so often interlocks with freedom of speech, but the press, which can be used by anyone, obviously protects an individual right that cannot be abridged.

That is, whether the writer is working in a blog, through a video published online for streaming, or writing an e-novel, they deserve the protections of the First Amendment.

However, if this was upheld and regulations were not applicable to these groups of people the FEC might not have a reason to exist. The group would be unable to moderate the “contributions” and “expenditures” of any members of media in order to submit to the freedom of the press, forcing the FEC’s power to shrink significantly.

The current restrictions to freedom of the press contemplated by the FEC keep freedoms locked in an archaic, pre-constitutional time where today’s technology simply did not exist, and uses that as a justification for censorship. With Ravel’s debate remarks and Twitter attacks on the Washington Examiner and the Daily Caller for daring to report on Goodman’s amendment, it seems the “pitiful” right leaning media would be the first to be moderated by these unelected bureaucrats.

This is a guest post by Natalia Castro contributing editor at Americans for Limited Government.
  • Frank W Brown

    A Country Founded by Geniuses but Run by Idiots! AND TYRANTS AND BUREAUCRAPS!!!

    If you can get arrested for hunting or fishing without a license, but 
not for entering and remaining in the country illegally — you might 
live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

    If you have to get your parents’ permission to go on a field trip or 
to take an aspirin in school, but not to get an abortion — you might 
live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

    If you MUST show your identification to board an airplane, cash a 
check, buy liquor, or check out a library book and rent a video, but not 
to vote for who runs the government — you might live in a nation that 
was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

    If the government wants to prevent stable, law-abiding citizens from 
owning gun magazines that hold more than ten rounds, but gives twenty 
F-16 fighter jets to the crazy new leaders in Egypt — you might live in a 
nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

    If, in the nation’s largest city, you can buy two 16-ounce sodas, but 
not one 24-ounce soda, because 24-ounces of a sugary drink might make 
you fat — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is
 run by idiots.

    If an 80-year-old woman or a three-year-old girl who is confined to a 
wheelchair can be strip-searched by the TSA at the airport, but a woman 
in a burka or a hijab is only subject to having her neck and head 
searched — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but 
is run by idiots.

    If your government believes that the best way to eradicate trillions 
of dollars of debt is to spend trillions more — you might live in a 
nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

    If a seven-year-old boy can be thrown out of school for saying his 
teacher is “cute,” but hosting a sexual exploration or diversity class 
in grade school is perfectly acceptable — you might live in a nation 
that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

    If hard work and success are met with higher taxes and more 
government regulation and intrusion, while not working is rewarded with 
Food Stamps, WIC checks, Medicaid benefits, subsidized housing, and free
 cell phones — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses 
but is run by idiots.

    If the government’s plan for getting people back to work is to 
provide incentives for not working, by granting 99 weeks of unemployment 
checks, without any requirement to prove that gainful employment was 
diligently sought, but couldn’t be found — you might live in a nation 
that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

    If you pay your mortgage faithfully, denying yourself the newest 
big-screen TV, while your neighbor buys iPhones, time shares, a 
wall-sized do-it-all plasma screen TV and new cars, and the government 
forgives his debt when he defaults on his mortgage — you might live in a
 nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

    If being stripped of your Constitutional right to defend yourself 
makes you more “safe” according to the government — you might live in a 
nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

    If the media panders to your openly socialist leader while the IRS targets groups with dissenting views— you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

    If your government ‘cracks down’ on legal gun sales to law abiding citizens while secretly supplying illegal guns to Mexican drug cartels— you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

    If your local government (Chicago) outlawed gun ownership for ‘the safety of its citizens’ and now boasts the worst murder rate in the country — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

    What a country!

    How about we give God a reason to continue blessing America?

    This was borrowed from another blog, authors unknown, please spread it far and wide!

  • Frank W Brown

    Time to ABOLISH the FEC, PERIOD!

    • france belfast

      All I can say is…..Brilliant, Frank W Brown.

Sign up for our FREE newsletter!

Name:
Email:
Sign up to receive daily updates, political news, action letters and additional messages from Conservative Republican News

View our Privacy Policy

Join our FREE Newsletter!