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Zombie Media Cartel Bill Back and Worse Than Ever: Would Strengthen Legacy Media, Punish Anti-Establishment Outlets

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09/06/2022 01:28 PM
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Zombie Media Cartel Bill Back and Worse Than Ever: Would Strengthen Legacy Media, Punish Anti-Establishment Outlets
A new version of the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) is circulating that is worse than the original. It allows mainstream, legacy and left-wing media to form exclusionary media cartels and then empowers them with extraordinary collective-bargaining power to collude with Big Tech companies. The amendments serve only to spell out in greater specificity how to exclude conservative and anti-establishment media from any alleged benefits.

Specifically, the new JCPA contains a provision that allows “eligible” media companies forming a cartel to “create admission criteria for membership unrelated to the size of an eligible digital journalism provider or the views expressed by its content, including criteria to limit membership to only eligible publishers or only eligible broadcasters.”

That provision is significant especially for its specificity. These mainstream and left-wing media cartels may not exclude based on size or “views expressed by its content.” But that is not how the exclusion happens or will happen.

These self-appointed mainstream and left-wing media cartels ARE allowed to exclude based on the usual, totally subjective, factors they always do, such as: “trustworthiness,” “fake news, “extremism,” “misinformation,” “hate speech,” “conspiracy,” “correction policy,” “expertise,” “authoritativeness,” etc.

All of these terms are viewpoint neutral, yet when interpreted by leftist NGOs, “media watchdogs” like NewsGuard, and the fact checkers and content moderators of Big Tech, inevitably end up targeting just one side of the political spectrum, with only the occasional token reprimand of the corporate mainstream media.

Despite misleading the American public for years – even winning a Pulitzer for their efforts – most of the news companies that pushed the discredited “Russiagate” conspiracy theory, like the New York Times and the Washington Post, continue to receive a “green” approval rating from NewsGuard, while news outlets that debunked the conspiracy theory, like Breitbart News and Fox News, are smeared as untrustworthy and unreliable.

It is easy to imagine a news cartel pointing to NewsGuard criteria – or the criteria of any organization presenting itself as an “independent watchdog” – as an allegedly viewpoint-neutral excuse to exclude conservative and independent media.

The bottom line is that any conservative or independent, or any free speech advocate, much less any Republican who does not see this fatal flaw is whistling past the graveyard and is not worthy of political support.