Thursday, March 03, 2005

MIchelle Malkin: The FEC vs. Blogs

By Michelle Malkin · March 03, 2005 12:01 PM

CNET reporter Declan McCullagh has an important piece warning of the "coming crackdown on blogging."

Joshua Claybourn of In the Agora analyzes the campaign finance law absurdities and First Amendment infringements on bloggers here.

Winfield Myers is on the same wavelength. He writes:

The possibilities that [FEC commissioner Bradley] Smith lays out are chilling and, if enacted, could spell the end of blogging as we know it. Indeed, it could turn much of what is published on the Net into a samizdat-style activity.

Sound alarmist? Read on. It all stems, of course, from McCain-Feingold, the absurd and (pace the Supreme Court) unconstitutional curtailment of political speech in violation of the First Amendment. Both Senators, and the Democratic members of the Commission, favor regulating political speech on the Internet, lest bloggers and electronic publications enjoy an advantage over print publications. This is a huge power grab by elements of the federal bureaucracy who are threatened by New Media, and a first step by those forces to shut down political speech they don't like.

This is something bloggers of all political stripes should unite against. Instapundit has more links.
I think McCullagh and FEC commissioner Brad Smith have done a real service sounding the alarm as the panel moves forward on extending McCain-Feingold to the Internet. Here's the last paragraph from the CNET interview, but make sure to read it in its entirety:

Smith: This is an incredible thicket. If someone else doesn't take action, for instance in Congress, we're running a real possibility of serious Internet regulation. It's going to be bizarre.

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