Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) is part of a group of stalwart GOP lawmakers blocking leftist Democrats from pushing through the ill-conceived Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA).
The measure combines the goals of Democratic political leaders and their media allies to create an umbrella organization of the nation’s preeminent information outlets. In essence, it would force Big Tech companies to financially support the failing legacy media.
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JCPA goes further, allowing conglomerates who own several news outlets to combine forces and ram their demands onto tech firms for monetary payouts.
Strong opposition to JCPA came from tech giants such as Facebook parent Meta and Google, who would be forced to pay the consortium of media companies for content appearing on their sites.
A scathing statement was released by Meta this week when news leaked that some Democrats would attempt to attach the highly controversial bill to the defense spending package.
Spokesperson Andy Stone declared that news needs big tech much more than big tech needs the news outlets. He asserted that the platform will not “submit to government-mandated negotiations that unfairly disregard any value we provide to news outlets.”
He rightfully added that U.S. companies should not be forced to pay for content “users don’t want to see” and does not bring in revenue.
Legacy media giants pushed back against Meta, calling the threat to drop their products “undemocratic and unbecoming.”
Daines along with several Republican colleagues stood up to the draconian measure on Capitol Hill this week. They were successful in putting a “hold” on the bill, effectively stopping it from passage through a “hotline” procedure.”
The devil is in the details, and those details are a large part of the reason Daines and others fought to derail JCPA. Under its provisions, the organization of powerful media outlets would write its own rules.
Supporters of the radical change rejected protections from “viewpoint” discrimination, meaning that the all-powerful national outlets could and would stifle conservative media platforms and the alternative press.
Of course, the empowered leftists would never call it censorship or discrimination. Instead, they would fall back on their ever-present descriptions of narratives they disagree with as “disinformation” and “extremism.”