Drudge Beware: FEC Joins Attacks on Internet Free Speech

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There is a serious and multi-prong effort by Democrats to restrict the free speech of individuals and groups. The latest is a plan by the FEC to regulate free online political sites to include free youtube postings and blogs like Drudge and Sean Hannity.

Free speech on the Internet has not been regulated but Democrats want to regulate it. It’s an enormous overreach by government – the FEC does not legitimately have the power to regulate free speech on the Internet.

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All blogs, videos, and Internet sites would be affected by a move at the FEC to add burdensome regulations.

Democratic FEC Vice Chair Ann M. Ravel wants regulations that would treat them like PACs. Until now they have been free of most FEC rules.

The effort was blocked by three Republicans but Ravel has promised to bring it back with full force next year.

The Washington Examiner reported that she would likely “regulate right-leaning groups like America Rising that posts anti-Democrat YouTube videos on its website.”

FEC Chairman Lee E. Goodman, a Republican, described what Ms. Ravel wants as something like a Chinese censorship board.

He said if regulation extends that far, then anybody who writes a political blog, runs a politically active news site or even chat room could be regulated. He added that funny internet campaigns like “Obama Girl,” and “Jib Jab” would also face regulations.

“I told you this was coming,” he told Secrets. Earlier this year he warned that Democrats on the panel were gunning for conservative Internet sites like the Drudge Report.

We would never again see spoofs like Obama Girl, Sean Hannity’s website would be under scrutiny, and Drudge Report would be taxed and regulated out of existence.

Like all other executive agencies, the FEC has been politicized.
DRUDGE IS IN THE CROSSHAIRS

On April 4 2013, during a conversation with POLITICO’s Mike Allen, White House Senior Advisor Dan Pfeiffer labeled the Drudge Report as harmful.

He said the media has a “Pavlovian response” to controversial links posted on conservative news aggregator The Drudge Report.

Pfeiffer also argued that the site actively “hurts” the White House’s efforts to convey their message “on a daily basis.

One can assume from that statement that the White House expects the media to work in lockstep with his message. The Obama administration loves state media and nothing must interfere.

He also doesn’t want reporters to go to Drudge and pick up information he then has to answer questions about.

The Drudge Report is nothing more than a right-leaning news aggregator – a highly successful one. How is that damaging? He doesn’t editorialize, he aggregates. It’s closer to a free press than the mainstream papers. Mr. Pfeiffer doesn’t want his peeps to be picked up saying something they don’t want heard and they don’t want to be questioned about anything that doesn’t convey Barack Obama’s message. Tough!

Recently, Monica Lewinsky, a victim of her own misbehavior and of an exploitative ex-President, blamed Drudge for reporting about Bill Clinton’s dalliances with the 22-year old while in the White House. One might wonder if that was a coincidence?

This batch of Democrats, both in the White House and their supporters in Congress, are out to shut down opposing viewpoints, not exactly what our Founding Fathers had in mind when they drew up the First Amendment.

Nor did the Founding Fathers expect the White House to behave like Third World dictators and control news reports about White House interviews, but it’s happening.
FEINSTEIN’S ANTI-BLOGGER LAW

Senator from California Dianne Feinstein is actively pursuing a law that would regulate free speech with an amendment to the Free Flow of Information Act. The title is comical because the last thing she wants is the free flow of information.

The law is operating under the guise of protecting journalists but the protections the law outlines only apply to “covered journalists”. They get to decide who they are and who they can work for to be covered. It would leave bloggers at such risk that it would end the practice.

Feinstein wants to define who a real reporter is and who gets the protection of the Shield Act. She doesn’t want bloggers to have free speech.

“I can’t support it if everyone who has a blog has a special privilege … or if Edward Snowden were to sit down and write this stuff, he would have a privilege. I’m not going to go there,” Feinstein said, completely misunderstanding the purpose of the First Amendment.

Feinstein introduced the amendment that defines a “covered journalist” as someone who gathers and reports news for “an entity or service that disseminates news and information.” The definition includes freelancers, part-timers and student journalists, and it permits a judge to go further and extend the protections to any “legitimate news-gathering activities.”

She clearly indicated that bloggers are not to be covered by the Shield law along with terrorists.

According to her, you are only a legitimate journalist if you on her list of news services.
PRESIDENT OBAMA’S IDEA OF PRESS FREEDOM

There are many ways in which this White House has squelched freedom of the press.

In July, 2012, the NY Times admitted to being manipulated by the White House. They said that reporters  interviews with campaign officials are predicated on the requirement that the White House “press office gets veto power over what statements can be quoted and attributed by name.”

“The quotations come back redacted, stripped of colorful metaphors, colloquial language and anything even mildly provocative,” the NY Times reported.

After the interviews, the Times admitted that “they [the White House] reviews their notes, checks their tape recorders and sends in the juiciest sound bites for review.” “Quote approval is standard practice for the Obama campaign,” the Times wrote.

It’s not only the White House, it has become a common politician’s practice. Even the Treasury demands quote approval.

Those who did speak on the record said the restrictions seem only to be growing. “It’s not something I’m particularly proud of because there’s a part of me that says, ‘Don’t do it, don’t agree to their terms,’ ” said Major Garrett, a correspondent for The National Journal. “There are times when this feels like I’m dealing with some of my editors. It’s like, ‘You just changed this because you could!’”

Bloomberg, The Washington Post, Vanity Fair, Reuters and The New York Times have all agreed to interviews under such terms.

The White House routinely gives their talking points to Democratic legislators and advocacy groups before speeches. It’s the liberals who get them.

Organizations like the far-left Media Matters have shadowy ties to the White House. Media Matters, if you remember, launched the war on Fox.

The White House even targeted Fox employees including reporter James Rosen.

The Obama administration was able to spy on his communications and those of his family by telling the FISA court he was suspected of espionage.

Mr. Obama’s DOJ has prosecuted more whistleblowers than all the presidents since FDR combined. DOJ Eric Holder has prosecuted our own CIA officials, lawyers in the Bush administration, and whistle blowers as spies, making no distinction between speaking with reporters and spying on our government. Bloomberg reported that he has prosecuted more government officials for alleged leaks under the Espionage Act than all his predecessors combined.

There are many examples of bullying of the press- the James Risen case which began under George Bush, the AP, et al.

Jennifer Rubin at The Washington Post referenced several stories of bullying by the White House in one of her columns. Rubin wrote that reporters Woodward, Founier, and others were all beaten down with verbal threats and abusive language by White House officials. She mentioned one case that concerned Lanny Davis.

Lanny Davis, a serious liberal, wrote something in The Washington Times that displeased the Obama Administration. John Solomon, the editor at the Washington Times, received a phone call threatening to remove the newspaper’s White House credentials unless Lanny Davis’ column was discontinued.”

Others were threatened, including the White House press corps. “This is a warning shot over the bow of the White House press corps. ‘Don’t screw with us. Look what we are doing to your God, Woodward. Imagine what we’ll do to you.’”

Bob Beckel, another very liberal man, who once served as Jimmy Carter’s Chief of Staff, told Bill Hemmer on Fox News back in October, 2013, that someone in the White House told him to stop talking about delaying the implementation of Obamacare. He wouldn’t say who it was.

Beckel: “The other day on The Five I called for a delay for the implementation of this for five months or six months to a year. And I got a call from somebody at the White House who absolutely bludgeoned me over it…“

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Free speech should be limited if the Democrats in this administration are to be heeded.

Barack Obama gave an interview to The New Republic January 29, 2013 which should be very concerning to people.

The only people who stand between Obama and the corrupt mainstream media are Fox News, Talk Radio, and the Internet.

Barack Obama would like to shut all opposition down. If you don’t believe that, read the interview. Read it that is, if you can get through the reporter’s fawning sycophancy and Obama’s narcissistic comparisons of self to President Abraham Lincoln.

Barack Obama is unhappy with the press in general according to the interview. He thinks the mainstream press treats the Democrats and Republicans equally and that Democrats are the only ones trying to do the right thing.

I must have missed all those glowing articles about Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney, John Boehner and so on. I couldn’t, until recently, find a negative thing about Obama in the mainstream media.

Barack Obama wants the press to understand that they are expected to support Democrats over Republicans in all things and at all times. One quote by Mr. Obama from the interview:

Well, no, let me be clear. There’s not a—there’s no equivalence there. In fact, that’s one of the biggest problems we’ve got in how folks report about Washington right now, because I think journalists rightly value the appearance of impartiality and objectivity. And so the default position for reporting is to say, “A plague on both their houses.” On almost every issue, it’s, “Well, Democrats and Republicans can’t agree”—as opposed to looking at why is it that they can’t agree. Who exactly is preventing us from agreeing?

And I want to be very clear here that Democrats, we’ve got a lot of warts, and some of the bad habits here in Washington when it comes to lobbyists and money and access really goes to the political system generally. It’s not unique to one party. But when it comes to certain positions on issues, when it comes to trying to do what’s best for the country, when it comes to really trying to make decisions based on fact as opposed to ideology, when it comes to being willing to compromise, the Democrats, not just here in this White House, but I would say in Congress also, have shown themselves consistently to be willing to do tough things even when it’s not convenient, because it’s the right thing to do. And we haven’t seen that same kind of attitude on the other side.

Barack Obama showed his usual contempt for Fox News and Rush Limbaugh during the interview:

One of the biggest factors is going to be how the media shapes debates. If a Republican member of Congress is not punished on Fox News or by Rush Limbaugh for working with a Democrat on a bill of common interest, then you’ll see more of them doing it.

I think John Boehner genuinely wanted to get a deal done, but it was hard to do in part because his caucus is more conservative probably than most Republican leaders are, and partly because he is vulnerable to attack for compromising Republican principles and working with Obama.

One of the owners of this far-left online journal – New Republic – is an Obama donor and former Obama campaign employee.
CONGRESS’ CLOAKED EFFORT TO REPEAL FREE SPEECH

The Citizens United case, which paints the decision as a case of the people against corporations, is actually a case of leftists against free speech.

Forty-six senators are willing to sign on to an amendment to the Constitution that would give Congress the power to alter the First Amendment.

Elected Democrats want to give Congress the power to muzzle U.S. citizens and to ban what they want to ban.

Meanwhile, unions and left-wing groups will continue to be free to donate to political campaigns to the tune of millions of dollars.

The proposal seeks to prohibit corporations from contributing unlimited amounts of money to election campaigns, but it could ban publishers, movie producers and political groups from being able to engage in political free speech.

Sen. Ted Cruz called it “the single most radical and most dangerous proposal that has been introduced in the 113th Congress.” It would repeal the First Amendment he warned.

This amendment gives Congress the right to regulate corporations such as book publishers. He quoted the ACLU’s stance on the issue, which is that the proposal would, “severely limit the First Amendment and lead directly to government censorship of political speech.”

“Citizens United was a movie, this whole thing was started because a movie maker dared make a movie critical of Hillary Clinton,” said Cruz. “You know it was their constitutional right to do so just like it’s Michael Moore’s constitutional right to make movies that those on the left celebrate.”

According to Cruz, the amendment would restrict the free speech rights of not-for-profit corporations, a designation which would include a whole swath of different political groups, including those on the left like the NAACP and the Sierra Club.

“These are the Fahrenheit 451 Democrats,” said Cruz, a reference to the dystopian novel by Ray Bradbury in which firefighters burn books to suppress freedom of thought.

We must fight for the First Amendment. Freedom is not easily won or kept.
BE FOREWARNED

The Democrats in power want to silence bloggers and conservatives media using the overreaching power of executive agencies because they are becoming a force in getting information out and influencing the public. They want only one side protected – theirs – but there can’t be selective free speech or we will all lose our freedom.

They want to control free speech on the Internet.

This latests attempt to silence political free speech on Friday by Democrats on the FEC was won by a 3-3 stalemate. Three Republicans were opposed, If one more Democrat were on that committee, we would be looking at scrutiny and censorship of political bloggers, spoofs like Obama Girl, and political Internet sites. One Democrat in particular, Ms. Ravel, will bring it back next year.

READ A THOROUGH ACCOUNTING ON WASHINGTON TIMES

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