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Republicans Deliver Unexpected Defeat of Media Bailout Bill

Posted on Wednesday, December 14, 2022
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AMAC Exclusive – By Tom Campbell

Media

Christmas almost came early for the Democratic Party last week as Congress came close to bailing out the Democrats’ fake news media allies with the bill dubbed, in Orwellian fashion, the “Journalism Competition and Preservation Act” (JCPA). But thanks to unexpected and vigorous push back from congressional Republicans, social media companies, and free speech advocacy groups, the bill was stripped from the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

The conservative victory showed that even without control of one or more chambers of Congress, Republicans can still exercise power over important policy if they are willing to take a bold stand with energy and conviction and persuade just a small number of Democrats of the righteousness of their position, an important lesson for the narrow GOP majority preparing to take charge in January.

At a time when Americans’ trust in mass media is already abysmally low, passage of the JCPA would almost certainly have contributed to the further corrupting of American journalism, while empowering big tech and the mainstream media to completely marginalize conservative media outlets.

The bill’s sponsor, Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, as well as Cory Booker of New Jersey, Dianne Feinstein of California, Dick Durbin of Illinois, and other Senate Democrats have tried to sell the legislation as a way for small and medium-sized news outlets to collectively bargain with the big social media platforms for a larger share of revenue for their content. But despite its name and that positive spin, the JCPA is designed to crush independent rivals to the mainstream media.

The JCPA legislation proposes to create an exemption in antitrust law for print, broadcast, or digital news companies, like the New York Times and the Washington Post. The carve-out would allow such companies to form collective-bargaining agreements with the big social media platforms “regarding the pricing, terms, and conditions by which the covered platform may access the content of the eligible digital journalism providers that are members of the joint negotiation entity.” The goal is to force social media platforms, such as Google and Facebook, to pay media companies for clicks on their content.

The result of the JCPA would be to empower establishment media companies over independent media outlets. Large mainstream media conglomerates, who already have plenty of political connections and money to negotiate, would be able to box out smaller media outlets that do not have the influence or means to command a pay-per-click fee to gain new views on their content. Effectively, the legislation would block smaller competitors from getting as many views on their pieces of content.

Furthermore, the legislation mandates arbitration and gives the federal government the power to enforce a final arbitrated decision. Tech-industry group NetChoice’s President and CEO Steve DelBianco had this to say about the JCPA: “The legislation will harm free speech online by creating a special class of media preferred by the government, while isolating other media outlets that some lawmakers don’t like, including conservative ones.”

Republicans in Congress have also been sounding the alarm over the impact the JCPA would have on conservative media outlets by giving the corporate media the ability to suppress conservative content. They have raised legitimate concerns that the media “cartels” could exclude conservative media outlets based on subjective factors, such as labeling stories “fake news,” “misinformation,” and “conspiracies.” Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH), the ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee, warned that Democrats and the mainstream media “will use it, in the end, to discriminate against people who don’t fit into their category, who aren’t defined as ‘the press’ — and who’s going to determine that?” 

But the cronyist, anti-competitive, nature of the JCPA could have even greater ramifications for the free press and an open internet. Social media platforms have already strongly expressed an unwillingness to engage on the idea of paying for clicks, and this has the potential to harm not just those media companies making up the negotiating “cartels” but also the smaller, independent outlets likely to be kept out. In response to reports that the JCPA was going to be included in the NDAA, Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, said it would stop allowing links to news websites altogether.

“If Congress passes an ill-conceived journalism bill as part of national security legislation, we will be forced to consider removing news from our platform altogether rather than submit to government-mandated negotiations that unfairly disregard any value we provide to news outlets through increased traffic and subscriptions,” Meta said in a statement.

Many congressional Republicans came out swinging against the inclusion of the JCPA in the NDAA. Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), Representative Jim Jordan, and House Judiciary Republicans released public statements criticizing the move. Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) even called on his GOP colleagues to filibuster the defense bill if it contained the JCPA. This level of pushback from Republicans was undoubtedly critical to Democrats abandoning their scheme.

The demise of the media bailout bill shows the leverage congressional Republicans have already gained, even before officially taking control of the House. However, Democrats have hinted that they may attempt to slip the JCPA into another end-of-the-year bill, such as an omnibus spending package. Though emboldened by this win, conservatives should keep up the pressure to block this and other crony government legislation from becoming law before Republicans take hold of the Speaker’s gavel in January.

Tom Campbell is the pen name of a Washington, D.C.-based professional with more than a decade of policy and legislative experience at the state and federal levels of government. 

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Patriot Will
Patriot Will
1 year ago

This is very good news. In addition, it appears that the Republicans are actually capable of standing up to the evil Communist Democrats. Sometimes, American patriots become very upset, because quite often, too many of the Republican leaders role over and play dead without even giving the Marxist Democrats a run for their money

Tom Cox
Tom Cox
1 year ago

“JCPA” obviously is short for “Journalism Cartel Protection Act.”

Linda Baker
Linda Baker
1 year ago

Finally. Hopefully, the new guard will give the old guard a push to do right by the People.

Cheryl Andrew
Cheryl Andrew
1 year ago

Amy Klobucher NO longer represents the majority of Minnesota citizens. Shame on her!

George Washington's Admirer
George Washington's Admirer
1 year ago

Democrat/Communists are overplaying their hand. They are excessively into control. Marxists use the Mainstream Media; for brainwashing purposes only. If there ever was a time, when journalism had a flair for professionalism it isn’t present day. It is a detriment to themselves. ‘We have seen the enemy and it is WE’. The ‘Democratic Party’ has cannibalized itself. If they stay on the same track they will most surely become extinct. Already the word ‘democratic’ has absolutely no meaning. Republicans can console themselves with the fact that; without interference the Democratic Party turned Marxist will extinguish itself. The Republican Party has more people than ever registering. We as Republicans can not stomach their machinations of evil in the form of: banning news, misinformation used to control the public, and a form of gerrymandering the press. The Republican Party will become stronger; the more the Democrat/Marxists push absolute control. This causes a TUG OF WAR!…So, let go of the rope and see them fall in the mud!

Morbious
Morbious
1 year ago

Great. Someone managed to feed them three tanna leaves. Lets give them nine so they can come fully alive.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
1 year ago

Hooray defund bill
Deny Big Tech funds

Dennis M Struk
Dennis M Struk
1 year ago

GOOD!!! THIS is the FIRST STEP!!! Curtailing the funding for these LEFT-WING ELITISTS from spreading their LYING VITRIOL and their BLATANT FALSEHOODS is a worthy start towards a better United States!

jdub
jdub
1 year ago

This year can’t be over fast enough for me. I don’t trust the democrats at all. They will lie, cheat, and steal to maintain their tight control status.

Aaf Schafer
Aaf Schafer
1 year ago

This was an attempt by the democrats to control all news.
They would effectively stop all news from the right to be broadcast or published in newspapers en magazines.
Een communist move.

Frank D. Lovell
Frank D. Lovell
1 year ago

TY Republicans for acting like Patriots.

jocko
jocko
1 year ago

DEPORT ALL liberals, illegals AND THE ONCE HONORABLE, fbi, STAT, TO MAGA

nate
nate
1 year ago

They no longer do the people’s business.

David L
David L
1 year ago

The Republican party has been a major disappointment because it fails over and over again to do the appropriate action. Mitch McConnell lacks the backbone needed to stand up and fight. This is why so many people voted for Trump because he was the first person to stand up to the Democrats and the media. There is a major part of the Republican Party that is anti-Trump and are blaming Trump for the losses in the recent mid-term elections. This is very unwise and not true. The Republican party will not change until the old leadership is completely gone.

Elaine
Elaine
1 year ago

The Repubs may have won this one battle, but if they don’t keep an eagle eye on that omnibus package, this may still end up in law. There have been other times when 1000 page bills get passed at the last minute, without being read with a fine tooth comb.

davidme
davidme
1 year ago

Such action as this is Required More Then Ever in America’s History!!!! The Conservative Side of the Republican (Lackey/RINO) Party MUST be Continued and Upon so Many Issues With Courage anf Fortitude For Our True America and Our True Values!!!!!

Granny
Granny
1 year ago

They throw the word “preservation” into a lot of their bills assuming we will miss the point. Thank you for those who fought against this.

Michael Lewis
Michael Lewis
1 year ago

From the story above: ” Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH), the ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee, warned that Democrats and the mainstream media “will use it, in the end, to discriminate against people who don’t fit into their category, who aren’t defined as ‘the press’ — and who’s going to determine that?” ”

This relates:

The Supreme Court has ruled repeatedly that campaign spending constitutes an essential form of “political speech” that is closely protected by the First Amendment. In order to regulate political spending, therefore, the government’s action must be justified by a particularly compelling reason and be narrowly crafted to achieve the law’s purpose. The only government interest the Court has found sufficient to justify campaign finance regulations is the prevention of either actual or apparent corruption in the political process.

The Federal Election Campaign Act was amended in 1974 to exempt corporate media from campaign laws , because their 1st Amendment rights could not be abridged.

52 U.S. Code § 30101 – Definitions (9)(B) The term “expenditure” does not include— (i) any news story, commentary, or editorial distributed through the facilities of any broadcasting station, newspaper, magazine, or other periodical publication, unless such facilities are owned or controlled by any political party, political committee, or candidate; –&nbsp law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/52/30101

This Press Exemption created a “Royal”, “State Approved” press! If candidates and political parties have to pay for time/space in the media, then why are favorable editorials or negative stories considered to have no value if they are published by corporate media, unless the media is controlled by a political party, political committee, or candidate?

The press exemption is overly broad and unpersuasive. It creates corruption and potential corruption by concentrating power over political narrative in the hands of corporate media, special interests themselves and dependent on the advertising dollars of other special interests.

The 1st right guaranteed is freedom of religion and corporations do not worship God. If Congress regulated freedom of religion like they regulate freedom of the press, Churches as institutions would be free to follow the tenets of their religion, but not church goers.

As for freedom of speech and the press, media corporations do not have a brain, a voice Box or a body. A media business cannot interview a political candidate, form a political opinion or endorse a political candidate, only human beings, acting as employees of the media institutions are capable of exercising First Amendment Rights.

And if newspapers were the definition of freedom of the press and radio and TV stations the definition of freedom of speech, they would not need an exemption from Federal Campaign laws. That is why GOP should fight to restore equal 1st Amendment rights to the electorate:
pic.twitter.com/xjZd4jUeMy

By letting the press exemption stand the Republican Party is abridges the 1st Amendment rights of the electorate and denies equal protection of the 14th Amendment, ironically the same amendment that supposedly granted corporations 1st Amendment rights. It amounts to chastising the electorate for the crimes and potential crimes of politicians!

Pappy
Pappy
1 year ago

It’s about time… no actually past time for OUR representatives to stand up against the out of control “Socialist” push and spending… way to go!!!

Sid
Sid
1 year ago

The GOP finally turned their pants around and zipped them up front!

David
David
1 year ago

Selling NEWS access to smaller outlets by large media outlets just shows that it’s not about access as much as revenue.

Joe Carlson
Joe Carlson
1 year ago

It’s about time, members of the GOP stood up and acted in behalf’s of America and it’s people, rather then succumbing to the democratic schemes, lies, and dastardly deeds. The GOP needs strong leadership to stop this take down of America.

Joe
Joe
1 year ago

News media and corrupt legislatures have no mental concept of reporting. Socialism at its BEST that would lead to a total FAKE news or the reporting of news THEY want us to hear. TOTALLY hiding the facts. Kudos to those Republicans who fought this. ALL those who sponsored and wrote this Bill ought to be thoroughly investigated due to their connections to unscrupulous benefactors.

Ron Howard
Ron Howard
1 year ago

If anything, we need stronger anti-trust laws! The anti-trust laws have been ignored too much in recent years. They were intended to prevent the building of monopolies but what do you call all of Big Tech???

David Millikan
David Millikan
1 year ago

Well put article.

Bruce C Christense
Bruce C Christense
1 year ago

Doesn’t this go against American anti trust laws which have allowed multi conglomerates within the last years?????

J ames harty
J ames harty
1 year ago

I wish Republicans would more openly protest some of the things happening in D. C. THKE OFF THEIR SHOE & POUND ON THE PODIUM to emphasize their point (like Kruchief did once). Anything to let viewers know what they stand for

Bruce C Christense
Bruce C Christense
1 year ago

The bill will be back under another “wonderful bill” our congress will be telling us they are taking care of us. And some will actually vote for it. Too bad!!!!

Jeff
Jeff
1 year ago

Every other item needs to be pulled from the NDAA. The NDAA should be a stand-alone bill every year. Defense is not a negotiable item.

Max
Max
1 year ago

Don’t worry, the Dems will find another bill to attach it to and it will get missed and passed.

TMH
TMH
1 year ago

A solution to all these problems of “piggybacking” bills on other proposals is to limit the bill, proposal, resolution or whatever to a single strictly defined proposal—no riders. This would also eliminate the “buying” of votes by pet riders to certain Representative’s or Senator’s jurisdiction. This would also reduce the size of bills drastically, make them more understandable and prevent “misappropriation” of tax dollars used to buy votes. The Defense Budget shouldn’t contain riders like this, the Infrastructure bill shouldn’t have Climate Change BS, Pelosi’s favorite park shouldn’t get $50M, AND the stimulus packages shouldn’t have “superfunds” to be raped by pet recipients with virtually no oversight, like the Covid-19 superfund and the Rescue plan bailouts.

GTPatriot
GTPatriot
1 year ago

nice result. As already stated, it impossible to know what nasty bombs are hidden in congressional bills. A bill could be called the “America Schoolchildren Act” and contain
language to legalize fentanyl.

Deanne
Deanne
1 year ago

Thank the God of Heaven there are still decent people in high positions. About time Republicans stop being afraid and do what is right

johnh
johnh
1 year ago

This issue needs to be watched: “We need to remember that one of Communism goals in 1950s was to control the media in USA”. Whether it is right or wrong, just look at the difference in daily FOX/CNN news & the side of news that they present.

GTPatriot
GTPatriot
1 year ago

Who decides what is an “establishment media company” and what is an “independent media outlet” ?

Laura
Laura
1 year ago

Yay! for the Republicans for a change. It is about time they stepped up to this matter and it’s time they do the same for others. I have felt for too long that they have been reticent to everything the Dems have been doing. I still feel they should start impeachment proceedings against the entire gang of Dems.

Robin W Boyd
Robin W Boyd
1 year ago

Government needs to stop spending tax money provided by workers. No social issues should be funded by government and no bailouts of any business whatsoever. No business is too big to fail. Others will pick up the slack. Stop Socialism!

CB
CB
1 year ago

The creatures that sponsored this bill are the lowest pieces of dog excrement next or joe boy.

Tory
Tory
1 year ago

Thrilled a sector of GOP said No ! It’s a start in this years series of no nonsense!

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