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Subject Klobuchar Delays Media Cartel Bill After Cruz Amendment Prohibiting Censorship Collusion
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Original Message After nearly two years of lobbying by representatives of the nation’s largest, wealthiest, and most pro-censorship media companies, after being killed in the House and then revived in the Senate, the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) is (temporarily) dead again — killed by its champion, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), because Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) successfully added an amendment that would prevent media companies and tech companies from colluding on content moderation.

The core concept of the JCPA is allowing media companies to form a legal cartel in the U.S., for the sole purpose of negotiating with tech giants for special favors.

Sen. Cruz’s amendment, which passed by a narrow 11-10 vote of the Senate Judiciary Committee, limits the scope of those negotiations: the media cartel would be allowed to negotiate with Big Tech on fair payments for their content, but on nothing else — including content moderation.

In his remarks, Sen. Cruz made it clear that the purpose of his amendment was to prevent big media companies from negotiating the suppression of their competitors with tech giants like Facebook and Google.

“What this amendment would do, is it would say [that] when the cartel sits down to negotiation, it would say ‘we’re not going to discuss censorship, we’re going to discuss price,'” said Cruz.

Sen. Klobuchar’s response was to pull the bill from proceedings rather than pass it out of committee with the Cruz amendment. In doing so, she effectively revealed that enabling collusion between Big Media and Big Tech on censorship has always been a core Democrat aim behind the JCPA.

Sen. Cruz successfully won over his colleagues on his amendment. In tense exchanges at this morning’s markup hearing on the bill, a somewhat panicked-sounding Sen. Klobuchar attempted to persuade the lead Republican co-sponsor of the bill, Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA), that the amendment preventing censorship collusion between Big Media and Big Tech could not be allowed.

“Senator Kennedy… we’ve worked on this months. We won’t be able to support the Cruz amendment here… If this is in it, we can’t support the bill.”

“I don’t understand why,” responded Kennedy. “To me, the issue is supposed to be about money, and not about moderating content, and this [the amendment] just makes explicit what I thought was implicit in the bill.”

Klobuchar’s last-ditch efforts to persuade Republicans were unsuccessful, and the Cruz amendment passed by a narrow 11-10 vote of the committee.

Immediately afterward, Klobuchar pulled the JCPA from proceedings, saying she could not support the bill with the addition of the Cruz amendment, which she said would “blow up the bill.”


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