In this episode of The Twilight Zone…
Imagine a world in which Democrats suffer epic meltdowns over Elon Musk returning free speech to Twitter, while also passing legislation containing a loophole that could force U.S. tech companies to carry and pay for the content of Chinese “news” organizations. Translation: Chinese Communist Party propaganda.
No need to imagine: that world might very well soon become a reality.
As reported by Breitbart, the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA), which the Senate Judiciary Committee passed in September by a 15 to seven vote but has yet to face a full Senate vote, would allow foreign news organizations, including propaganda arms of the ChiComs, to “influence” the flow of information in the United States.
And as my colleague Joe Cunningham noted, the JCPA would supposedly equalize the playing field for media outlets, but left-wingers like Minnesota Rep. Amy Klobuchar pushed the bill because it would help liberal media and potentially harm conservative media. Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee referred to the legislation as “Obamacare for the press.”
The Journalism Competition and Preservation Act is nothing less than Obamacare for the press. Congress should reject making the same mistake twice. pic.twitter.com/6uHiVrzPyz
— Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) September 8, 2022
Enter, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who sources familiar with the situation told Breitbart has caved to outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and will allow the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to include the highly controversial JCPA.
As Breitbart noted, the JCPA has zero to do with national defense but instead would transfer wealth to already-wealthy media companies and potentially demand more censorship from Silicon Valley platforms. Wait — haven’t we already seen this movie? Here’s more, via Breitbart:
The JCPA creates a “must carry and must pay” scheme, forcing U.S. tech companies both to carry and pay for the content of news organizations through mandatory arbitration agreements.
The news organizations are not limited to U.S. ones, meaning the JCPA would require U.S. companies to carry and subsidize a range of publications that spread propaganda from foreign sources. This would open up the U.S. to increased foreign influence over American political and social movements, and increased exposure to CCP-supported narratives.
The potential to empower foreign adversaries is particularly extraordinary given that lawmakers are planning to attach it to the NDAA, a “must pass” bill that is meant to fund U.S. national defense.
There is a narrow exception in the JCPA carving out publications that are clearly “owned or controlled” by foreign powers. This very weak exception has not been revised since the JCPA was introduced and would instantly be abused by Russian, Chinese, and other foreign interests.
“Owned or controlled” doesn’t mean Chinese or Russian entities can’t partner [with] or pay publications in other countries to carry their propaganda. For example, The China Daily, a Chinese Communist Party-controlled outlet, has paid over $1 million to establishment outlets that support JCPA. As Breitbart noted, Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) disclosures detail how many of the newspapers that support the JCPA have received significant funds from The China Daily, which is controlled by the CCP’s State Council Information Office.
What could possibly go wrong, here?
On the upside, Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz forced an amendment to the bill that would in theory prohibit discrimination against conservative media outlets:
Censorship is becoming more and more blatant on the internet. Big Tech is more and more naked in silencing the voices with which they disagree. This bill, if it is enacted, would create an exemption from the antitrust laws to allow Big Tech to sit down with an enormous conglomerate of media operations and negotiate free from the antitrust laws.
Cruz called the amendment “simple,” adding:
If you’re negotiating, you ought to be negotiating on the ostensible harm that this bill is directed at, which is the inability to get revenues from your content. You should not be negotiating on content moderation and how you are going to censor substantive content.
This bill simply says the topic of discussion, when these two sides get together, can’t be censorship. It should be ad revenues, which is what all of the discussion of this markup has focused on.
So, here’s the deal. The Orwellian Democrat Party continues to do everything it can to suppress, censor, or outright ban conservative content, as the “Twitter Files” clearly prove, while either lying about doing so or concocting ridiculous excuses about “threats to democracy” and other such nonsense. Any Republican who believes they won’t use the JCPA as a “legitimate” tool to do is a fool (Mitch).
As is the case with elections, where Democrats don’t want to make it easier to vote; they want to make it easier to cheat, The Journalism Competition and Preservation Act would be no different as it relates to the dissemination of “news”: if you can’t beat ’em, cheat.
Speaking of which, Fox News beats regularly beats CNN and MSNBC like a cheap set of drums — combined. Hence, it’s time to cheat.