Conservatives Should Oppose Media Cartel Bill

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) said Wednesday that conservatives should oppose the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) because it would lead to more censorship.

“The Journalism Competition and Protection Act (JCPA) allows media to form a cartel to negotiate with big tech. Conservatives should oppose special treatment for favored industries, and a cartel will lead to more censorship. Republicans should vote NO to the JCPA,” Cotton said in a statement.

The Arkansas conservative spoke ahead of Thursday’s Senate Judiciary Committee meeting, where the committee will review the legislation.

After Klobuchar decided to delay markup on the bill last week, the Minnesota Democrat said “democracy rests” on the bill passing.

“I am the daughter of a journalist and I will not stop fighting for local information. Our democracy depends on it. President Durbin is committed to bringing our bipartisan bill to the Judiciary Committee next week,” Klobuchar said.

The Journalism Preservation and Competition Act, despite its nickname, would create an antitrust exemption for the media industry, allowing media conglomerates to negotiate more favorable advertising deals with big tech platforms.

Conservatives such as Sens. Cotton, Mike Lee (R-UT), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and others argue that the media industry should not be given special treatment and that the bill would lead to greater censorship of freedom of speech.

As Breitbart News senior technology correspondent Allum Bokhari documented, lobbyists and other supporters of the bill said the bill would be used to fight “misinformation.”

David Chavern, president and CEO of the News Media Alliance, told a House Judiciary Committee hearing that the media needed to be bailed out because it “presented a clear antidote to the dozens of misinformation affecting communities across the country”.

During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Lee quoted Bokhari’s Breitbart News article, detailing how the JCPA would be exploited to censor free speech:

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

Lee also said the JCPA would likely violate the Constitution with binding speech and could serve as “Obamacare for the free press.”

“When you sum it all up, the JCPA is just a way to transfer wealth from a politically disadvantaged group to a politically advantaged group under the guise of supposedly improving competition,” said Lee, a conservative who opposes the bill.

Senate Judiciary Committee

Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.


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