Whether writing for my personal blog or writing here, I don’t have to hide my political opinions. I can tell you who I’m voting for and who I think you should vote for. But that freedom is not a surprise. The editorial boards of the New York Times and the Washington Post also have it.
In fact, everyone should have it. It is called freedom of speech. It is one of the rights recognized and guaranteed in the First Amendment of the Constitution.
But there is a huge “carve-out” in the First Amendment. There is the idea that political campaigns must be conducted in a specific way that is properly and objectively “fair.” For this purpose we have the Federal Election Commission (the FEC).
The FEC can, unilaterally and at any time, cease to allow media to operate freely. It could require media to provide financial information just like Political Action Committees (PACs) are required to do. In fact, according to the FEC Chairman, Lee E. Goodman, members of the FEC have already tried to do that.
According to the Washington Examiner,
But Goodman cited several examples where the FEC has considered regulating conservative media, including Sean Hannity’s radio show and Citizens United’s movie division. Those efforts to lift the media exemption died in split votes at the politically evenly divided board, often with Democrats seeking regulation.
Perhaps this is old news to you, but it took me awhile to let the truth sink in. We live in a country where the media could be simply grabbed and then controlled by the FEC simply because the members voted to do so. No act of Congress. No ruling by the Supreme Court. Suddenly, Matt Drudge, or Sean Hannity would have to answer to the FEC.
The First Amendment is teetering on the edge of the abyss.
“I think that there are impulses in the government every day to second guess and look into the editorial decisions of conservative publishers,” warned Federal Election Commission Chairman Lee E. Goodman in an interview.
“The right has begun to break the left’s media monopoly, particularly through new media outlets like the internet, and I sense that some on the left are starting to rethink the breadth of the media exemption and internet communications,” he added.
Noting the success of sites like the Drudge Report, Goodman said that protecting conservative media, especially those on the internet, “matters to me because I see the future going to the democratization of media largely through the internet. They can compete with the big boys now, and I have seen storm clouds that the second you start to regulate them, there is at least the possibility or indeed proclivity for selective enforcement, so we need to keep the media free and the internet free.”
We have already seen how the Left is ready and willing to impose censorship. You need to understand that everything we take for granted is utterly vulnerable. The knives are hidden but they are sharp and ready.