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View Diary: Who does Carol Darr speak for? (70 comments)

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  •  "give her credit" (none)
    I know kos DESPISES what this woman is saying, but like you, I wonder if there could be a some reasoning behind her words. I actually CAN imagine FoxNews financing a deceptively named blog, dropping ads for it all OVER the net and the real world. Sure, kos and atrios would help US see through the BS, but with the right marketing, they could become huge with the not-so-with-it FoxNews/CNN/MSNBC watchers.

    Just saying, while her approach may be imperfect, her worries may be legitimate. Is there SOME WAY to find a middle ground that would address her concerns???

    •  But What's The Problem With That? (none)
      What, exactly, is the problem with More Speech, if it comes from an actual media corporation?

      Look: if Halliburton wants to have a blog, it shouldn't be able to -- the ban on corporate expenditures on politics ought not go that far.

      But you can craft rules that bar activity you don't want (such as coordination between 527s and candidates online) without having to also build tiny boxes into which you hope all "good bloggers" will fit -- without a broad press exemption, such entities as group blogs and incorporated bloggers might have real legal risk.

      Take FreeRepublic, okay? It is a business that takes in donations totalling thousands of dollars to operate a site that exists to, among other things, allow a large group of individuals promote and attack candidates for federal election. If it is not given the "media exemption" extended to talk radio hosts, newspapers and the like, then, quite clearly, it's a political committee that needs to register with the FEC, disclose its contributions and expenditures, etc.

      "Let's put our heads together/And start a new country up/Our father's father's father tried/Erased the parts he didn't like" - R.E.M., "Cuyahoga"

      by Adam B on Wed Jun 29, 2005 at 08:05:16 PM PDT

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      •  I Admit It's Just Uneasiness (none)
        I suppose FoxNews wasn't the best example of why this makes me uneasy, as it is already considered to be (ack)journalism. I think I tried before to conceive of an individual paying for MILLIONS of dollars worth of ads, on the net or elsewhere, for a single candidate and calling themselves a "journalist" or a "blogger."

        I'm perhaps no more articulate in my worries than Darr is, and I by no means support the directions she seems to be taking - I do NOT want legitimate blogs inhibited in any way, shape, or form. But, if Karl Rove bought FreeRepublic and dumped millions into advertising it, then put up donation tabs on the site, shouldn't that be regulated? (I know, you don't think so... I'm just not so sure...)

        •  of course I don't think so. (none)
          Because I don't see the harms.  It's almost like saying that Markos or Atrios are fine unless they don't get TOO successful at doing this, because then, they're too powerful.  But as long as Viacom/Disney/NewsCorp/GE get the exemption for their news/editorial/commentary, why not Kos Media, LLC, or the Freepers?

          And the "millions in advertising" doesn't work.  Neither of those two guys has ever spent a dime on ads, and look where they are. Compare it to all the commercial online ventures that have failed.  What works here is good content and social relations, not money.

          "Let's put our heads together/And start a new country up/Our father's father's father tried/Erased the parts he didn't like" - R.E.M., "Cuyahoga"

          by Adam B on Wed Jun 29, 2005 at 09:08:43 PM PDT

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          •  "What works here..." (none)
            What works here is the truth. But given enough money, people seem to be able to manufacture their own truths - Rupert Murdoch, Karl Rove, etc. That said...

            I hadn't quite given thought to the idea of all of the media conglomerates basically getting their exemptions while clearly supporting one candidate over the other. I actually HATE the fact that Viacom/Disney/NewsCorp/GE can put out whatever tripe they want, at whatever expense. It's turned my dad into a fucking rightwing zombie. However, I'm not sure what can be done.

            I don't pretend to understand the issues as well as you seem to, but the feeling that "something should be done" persists. What exactly that "something" is, I'm not entirely certain...

            •  Here's what can be done (4.00)
              Bar entities (PACs/state parties/527s) that can't coordinate with federal candidates on other media buys from being able to do so with the Internet either.  That takes care of Judge Kollar-Kotelly's order.

              Otherwise, just leave it all alone until there's a problem.  If one happens, the FEC will still be around in 2006.  But this is, as one panelist said yesterday, a rulemaking in search of a problem right now.

              "Any content-based regulation of the Internet, no matter how benign the purpose, could burn the global village to roast the pig." -- ACLU v Reno (E.D. Pa. 1996)

              by Adam B on Wed Jun 29, 2005 at 09:25:52 PM PDT

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              •  this seems (none)
                like a totally reasonable solution. But acbonin, I find your arguments throughout to be a lot more convincing and a lot more rational than that of Kos himself. Can you tell him to tone it down a little?

                "When I came to this town, my eyes were big blue stars. Now they're big green dollar signs." - Jean Arthur, "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington"

                by brooksfoe on Thu Jun 30, 2005 at 12:12:26 AM PDT

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                •  Agreed. (none)
                  I like Kos, but he is not at his best when he over-personalizes conflicts. He has publicly flogged this woman enough.  

                  "False language, evil in itself, infects the soul with evil." ----Socrates

                  by Mimikatz on Thu Jun 30, 2005 at 09:02:30 AM PDT

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            •  let me further explain (before going to bed) (3.80)
              Any regulation that's proposed, no matter how innocent seeming, just opens up an avenue for investigation to determine compliance.

              Say you required bloggers to disclose all funding sources.  Well, hey, it's December 2007, and I can't believe that Markos says so many great things about Joe Biden and nothing nice about his primary opponent, Hillary Clinton, even though I know that Markos is a good progressive and, therefore, can't possibly really like Biden that much.  So I'm going to write the FEC and tell them I that I think I have good reason to believe Markos has to be getting paid by Biden to say all this stuff.

              And if the FEC believes there's any possible merit, they're going to issue subpoenae to Markos.  Turn over your bank records.  Your email archives.  Come in for a deposition.  Lawyer up.  Etc.

              And maybe it's not Markos.  Maybe it's just a frequent commenter on this site who others here seem to pay attention to.

              See the problem with not leaving things alone?

              "Any content-based regulation of the Internet, no matter how benign the purpose, could burn the global village to roast the pig." -- ACLU v Reno (E.D. Pa. 1996)

              by Adam B on Wed Jun 29, 2005 at 09:32:16 PM PDT

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            •  apparently your dad doesn't care about the truth (1.00)
              If what works here is the truth, why doesn't it work for your dad?  perhaps he's simply corrupt at the core, and thus open and ready to accept the lies, as so many people are.
          •  It's the conflict of interest (none)
            We exempt Viacom/Disney/NewsCorp/GE, as well as Kos Media, LLC, and the Freepers, because despite any partisan leanings, and any vocal support for one side or another, their chief function is that of a media entity: Their job is to spread information.

            Kos, Freepers, etc. also have a direct political function: to organize around issues and collect funds for political candidates.

            2 points: Do we want Viacom/Disney/NewsCorp/GE to be able to actively promote certain candidates, to the point where the corperations are asking people to donate?

            And: The difference between Kos, Freepers, etc. and allowing Halliburton to own a blog is that the traditional blogs are generally owned by people who operate the blog out of a personal want to express themselves. And I think that's a very good thing. But should corperations be allowed to maintain such a thing, if that means corperations soliciting donations and funnling millions of dollars for the blog, which doesn't just actively promotes a partisan agenda, but solicits donations and organises activists?

            Wouldn't that be the equivelant of giving ads directly for candidate donation pages?

            And what if a PAC opened up a blog. What legal status does it have? A 521? or a media entity?

            Or a non-profit, like Focus on the Family. If it had a blog?

            I appreciate the intent, I just have a few reservations.

            The Kool-Aid. We drank of it. And it tasted sweet. It tasted like something...Truth.

            by Pluto101 on Thu Jun 30, 2005 at 06:49:04 AM PDT

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            •  smart questions (none)
              Here's where I come down on this, and others may disagree:
              Do we want Viacom/Disney/NewsCorp/GE to be able to actively promote certain candidates, to the point where the corperations are asking people to donate?

              When they're operating within scarce, high-cost-of-entry, regulated media, probably not.  We can't all own television or radio stations, which is why tv stations that receive the media exemption have a legal obligations to, essentially, "play fair" -- evenhanded treatment of the issues, ad rates not determined based on partisan affiliation, etc.  

              But a newspapers, a magazine or a newsletter?  Or a local radio host?  I have no real problem there.

              But should corperations be allowed to maintain such a thing, if that means corperations soliciting donations and funnling millions of dollars for the blog, which doesn't just actively promotes a partisan agenda, but solicits donations and organises activists?

              There's no reason not to apply the traditional bar on corporate activity in politics to this sphere.  Halliburton is not a media company, and unless its "blog" was an actual attempt to cover the news rather than express corporate political views, it should not be legally protected.

              "Any content-based regulation of the Internet, no matter how benign the purpose, could burn the global village to roast the pig." -- ACLU v Reno (E.D. Pa. 1996)

              by Adam B on Thu Jun 30, 2005 at 07:10:16 AM PDT

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        •  it's like the torture scenario (none)
          Suppose that torturing someone could reveal information that would save a billion lives -- wouldn't it be ok to do so?

          Such arguments are fallacious and dishonest, because incredible scenarios are being invented in order justify behavior, not in those fictitious scenarios, but in real life situations without any of the incredible features of the scenarios.  Nothing justifies regulation of actual existing blogs, and inventing silly and stupid scenarios to try to find such a justification is advocating for the devil.

      •  aren't there two issues here ac? (none)
        As I see it, there is the exemption, and there is campaign finance reform. I'm not clear why Darr thinks the exemption for bloggers would matter in itself, as long as the campaign MONEY is kept out.

        However, as you may know from our previous interchanges, I, apparently like many others here,  am very worried about big money using blogs just like they do any other media, and these fears are not assuaged by the low barriers to entry for blogs. And I continue to be irritated and puzzled by Kos's tone on this issue, in which people who would even raise objections to his views are mocked and ridiculed. Can we agree that there are legitimate progressive concerns about the use of money to control debate, and we are trying to find appropriate analogies and approaches to guide us in addressing these ocncerns in this medium?

        "Scrutinize the bill, it is you who must pay it...You must take over the leadership." - Brecht

        by pedestrian xing on Thu Jun 30, 2005 at 03:15:13 AM PDT

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    •  middle ground (none)
      I doubt it.

      Not without an undue intrusion on privacy.  If I came into a large sum of money and wanted to get democrats elected in the future, I would want the freedom to launch an all out "net war"

      I think if there were some way to overturn 200+ years of law and strip corperations of the benifits of being a "person" we could make a start....

      ...but that aint gonna happen

      The world will end not with a bang, but with a "Do'oh!"

      by Love and Death on Wed Jun 29, 2005 at 08:07:11 PM PDT

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