Q&A Friday: The FEC Vs. Bloggers

Question: “What is your take on the following article in the WSJ Online? Will the FEC make bloggers kiss the First Amendment goodbye? — More_Than_Right

Answer: Although nothing good will come out of having the FEC regulating blogs, for the moment at least, it looks as if the danger is minimal.

The biggest advantage that bloggers have right now should be the First Amendment, but both parties in Washington and the court system have treated McCain-Feingold as if it trumps the Constitution. But luckily, both parties in Washington have benefitted from blogs. Conservative bloggers have taken on the MSM which is biased against Republicans and Democratic bloggers, like the Daily Kos, have raised large amounts of money for the Dems. So neither Party currently sees an advantage in stifling blogs.

However, once the FEC gets into the business of regulating blogs, they’re not going to go backwards. They’re only going to pile on more regulations over time. Furthermore, as blogs become more influential and take a bigger bite of the revenue stream and audiences of the mainstream media, we’ll see more instances of MSM trying to use their influence to get the government to hinder the competition. Then there are the politicians themselves who may start to push back as more of them are taken down in blogstorms, defeated in primaries, and are forced to face opponents whose war chests are filled by blogosphere driven fund raising.

What has happened is likely the first step down a slippery slope, but it looks like we’re going be OK for a while…

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