After unsuccessful attempts to attach the bill to the National Defense Authorization Act, (NDAA), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D–MN), who was the driving force behind efforts for a handout to Democrat media cronies through Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA), seems to have given up on her last-minute pivot towards a “national security argument” for the bill.
Klobuchar made the national security argument Tuesday amid massive opposition to plans to attach JCPA, essentially corporate welfare, to the defense spending bill. Klobuchar stated, “It’s about our national future and national security.”
The NDAA effort was abandoned a day later and the “national security argument” with it. Klobuchar instead has returned to her old talk about “saving local journalism”.
This statement was made by the Minnesota senator earlier today
“Local journalism, which is vital to our communities and our democracy,” said one third of the local newspapers that were in existence twenty years ago. They will close down by 2025. Local news is facing crisis, while the big tech platforms make a lot of money from news content that they don’t have to pay for. Local news has the opportunity to negotiate on an equal playing field and receive fair compensation for their work with our bipartisan bill. It is not possible to continue allowing big tech companies to control policy decisions in Washington when it comes news compensation, privacy rights and the online marketplace. This must be done.
Klobuchar’s problem is that her old talking points, after a year-and-a-half of debate over the JCPA have been repeatedly discredited by both conservatives and progressives as well as media unions.
Klobuchar’s claims that struggling newspapers are the main beneficiaries of the bill have repeatedly been disproven. Organizations representing all political parties and media unions have repeatedly pointed out that the bill’s biggest beneficiaries will be large conglomerates. Many of these conglomerates are owned by the same hedge fund that bought local newspapers across the country. They then shutter them or reduce their staff.
Breitbart News also explained that the JCPA provides a huge advantage to the most powerful and wealthy conglomerates who own multiple publications.
The bill allows any news company to join any new cartel within 60 day of its announcement. This means that national conglomerates with multiple outlets can flood any new cartel with members, and they can also dominate it. Newscorp, Gannett SE, Gannett SE and Gannett — all of whom have worked hard to pass the bill — will dominate decision-making within cartels. Smaller companies, which do not have multiple news outlets, would be virtually powerless.
The bill also contains numerous provisions that allow media cartels and conservative and independent media to remain out of the insiders club. Members can exclude potential members based upon virtually any criteria as long as they are not related to the publication’s size or “viewpoint”.
The “viewpoint” protection is just a figment: When conservatives are excluded from or censored in organizations and on social media, decision makers always present the public a viewpoint-neutral pretext. “Disinformation,” hate speech,” safety, and “election integrity,” have all been used in recent times.
It’s hard to imagine a media cartel consisting of some of the largest conglomerates in the world that wouldn’t use similar excuses for excluding conservative and independent media.