Lobbyists for big media companies are working overtime to get Republican lawmakers on board with the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA), promising it will somehow protect conservative media. Yet those same lobbyists are telling Democrats the bill will help curtail “misinformation” online — a buzzword for censoring conservatives.
The bill would create an antitrust exemption for media companies, allowing them to form a cartel to collectively pressure Big Tech companies for special favors.
This exacerbates one of the most anti-conservative trends to come out of Silicon Valley — the elevation of legacy media on Big Tech platforms, and the suppression of its competitors. And the bill’s supporters have been open about the fact that suppression of so-called “misinformation” is the goal.
In March 2021, when the JCPA was first introduced, David Chavern, the President and CEO of the News Media Alliance made this goal clear. The News Media Alliance is an umbrella group representing the largest and wealthiest legacy media companies in the U.S. and is the lobbying group that has been most aggressive and persistent in its attempts to pass this bill.
Urging lawmakers to pass the bill, Chavern wrote “the cost of inaction, in terms of the spread of misinformation we are all experiencing, is simply too great to ignore any longer.”
At a House Judiciary Committee hearing, Chavern and other media lobbyists repeated the same line of argument.
The media, said Chavern, deserved to be bailed out by Congress because it “acted as a clear antidote to the scores of misinformation impacting communities across the country.”
Emily Barr, CEO of Graham Media Group, another representative of the legacy media who testified at the hearing went even further in playing to Democrat narratives, telling lawmakers that the bill would help guard against threats to “democracy.”
“This past year has also tested our democracy and the very pillars upon which it stands, including a free and diverse press,” said Barr. “Due in large part to the misinformation circulating unchecked in the digital ecosystem, more and more Americans have lost faith in the information reaching their eyes and ears.”
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), in recent comments condemning the amended version of the legislation currently before the Senate Judiciary Committee, pointed out that Democrat lawmakers supporting the bill also believe it is an antidote to “misinformation.”
Any conservative considering this bill should note that Jerry Nadler is a lead sponsor and cites “widespread misinformation” as a rationale–in other words, they know this cartel will censor conservatives. pic.twitter.com/OG7NnqO6rZ
— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) September 6, 2022
“Any conservative considering this bill should note that Jerry Nadler is a lead sponsor and cites “widespread misinformation” as a rationale—in other words, they know this cartel will censor conservatives,” said Sen. Cotton.
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.