Friday, March 04, 2005

In Which I Defend the Indefensible, Suprise to Everyone

Nothing gets the blogsphere more excited than someone talking about them, except maybe if it’s someone threatening to take away their liberties. Instapundit and DailyKos will rant daily how insane the media of the other side it and how it needs to be reigned in, but any attempt at doing so by the government is apparently verboten. Shrug.

Not that I endorse stretching campaign finance laws to the internet as is being proposed. Combining government’s inability to regulate speech (even commercial) with even a semblance of coherence and the very fuzzy nature of internet law, makes for a bad pie. But this is as a technocratic matter, not an ideological one.

But geez, we’ve already seen examples of blogs on both sides of the political spectrum taking cash from political candidates. Most Americans happily accept that curbing campaign funding makes some infringement on the first amendment. And it’s clear that congress has given up on its responsibility to protect free speech and just left that to the Supreme Court anyway, so why the commotion over this new law?

Of course without a first amendment we might be able to have reasoned discussions of the limits of political speech that doesn’t have to get settled by absolutism. But then, if we didn’t have a first amendment, “they” could eagerly push all sorts of laws, like arresting anyone who wrote disturbing stories, push arbitrary social mores, or stop discussion of governmental violations of human rights. Thank Jefferson that doesn’t happen.

Seriously though, my only question is, what are the laws about “give aways” on cable television? I understand that the government can set limit on the broadcast station because the federal government controls access there (never mind that with assuming that monopoly they’ve now gained the ability to regulate the main medium of communication in modern life), and so current campaign finance law says television stations can’t give free advertisements to one political position. Do they limit cable stations from doing so? I don’t think there’s a legal reason US internet providers can be more immune to media-law than cable providers can.


Post a Comment

<< Home