Lobbyists representing large media companies are working overtime in an effort to convince Republican legislators to support the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act. They promise it will protect conservative media. These same lobbyists tell Democrats that the bill will curtail “misinformation online” — a term used to censor conservatives.
The bill would allow media companies to create an antitrust exemption that allows them to pressure Big Tech companies to get special favors.
This is a manifestation of one of the most anticonservative trends in Silicon Valley: the elevation of legacy media onto Big Tech platforms and the suppression its competitors. The bill’s backers have made it clear that the goal is to suppress so-called misinformation.
David Chavern was the president and CEO of News Media Alliance. This goal was set in March 2021 when the JCPA was introduced. The News Media Alliance, an umbrella group representing some of the most powerful and wealthy legacy media companies in America, is the lobbying group that has been the most persistent and aggressive in trying to pass this bill.
Chavern urged lawmakers to pass the bill and stated that “the cost to inaction in terms of spreading misinformation we all experience is simply too great not to accept any longer.”
Chavern and other media lobbyists argued the same argument at a House Judiciary Committee hearing.
Chavern said that Congress should bail out the media because it “acted in an antidote for the many misinformation impacts on communities across the country.”
Emily Barr, CEO, Graham Media Group, was another representative of legacy media who testified. She told lawmakers that the bill would protect against “democracy threats” and played to Democrat narratives.
Barr stated that “this past year has also tested democracy and the very foundations on which it rests, including a free press and diverse media.” Barr stated that Americans are losing faith in the information reaching them because of the unchecked misinformation in the digital ecosystem.
Recent comments by Sen. Tom Cotton (R.A.), condemning the Senate Judiciary Committee’s amended version of the legislation, highlighted that Democrat legislators supporting the bill believe it is an antidote for “misinformation.”