During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the JCPA on Sept. 8, Sen. Ted Cruz introduced a proposal that would temporarily force Democratic co-sponsors to withdraw the bill.
If Senator Cruz intends to expose Democrats’ motivations for supporting scrutiny, he has succeeded. But puzzlingly, he has now agreed with Sen. Amy Klobuchar on a new amendment that enables and promotes censorship he claims to oppose.
The core idea of the JCPA is to allow media companies to form legal cartels in the United States with the sole purpose of negotiating with tech giants for special benefits.
When Sen. Cruz successfully inserted an amendment into the derided media rescue bill to limit the scope of those negotiations to price, it exposed the pro-censorship motives of the bill’s Democratic supporters.
Its main sponsor, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), would rather withdraw the bill from consideration than limit the media cartel’s ability to demand that big tech companies scrutinize their competitors.
Inexplicably, conservative icon Cruz bowed to Klobuchar to secure a backroom deal to get the JCPA through committee without addressing any of the bill’s core structural review (or other) issues. The deal is the type of DC swamp creature Cruz has railed against Republicans since joining the Senate.
In the process, Klobuchar revealed that the JCPA was never about saving the mythical small-town paper: it was about consolidating the power and influence of established media companies while crushing their independent rivals on social media.
Even with the Cruz-Klobuchar amendment, the JCPA still allows censorship and shuts out competitors in the media.
As it currently stands, the bill has several ways to allow media cartels to exclude competitors from their interests in negotiating with tech companies.
As previously reported, the bill empowers media companies to exclude members based on almost any criteria.
Via Breitbart News:
Specifically, the new JCPA contains a provision that allows the “qualified” media companies that make up the cartel to “create membership entry criteria that are independent of the size of qualified digital news providers or the views expressed in their content, including limiting membership to For only eligible publishers or only eligible broadcasters.”
This provision is particularly important, especially its peculiarities. These mainstream and left-wing media cartels may not be excluded based on size or “the views expressed by their content”. But that’s not how exclusion happened or will happen.
These self-styled mainstream and left-wing media cartels are allowed to exclude what they always do based on the usual, entirely subjective factors such as: “credibility,” “fake news,” “extremism,” “misinformation,” ” Hate Speech,” “Conspiracy,” “Correction Policy,” “Expertise,” “Authority,” etc.
While the Cruz-Klobuchar amendment may limit formal negotiations between the media cartel and Big Tech to price, it will not prevent the impact of the informal relationships that have developed between cartel representatives and companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter. The already corrupt relationships in which big tech companies voluntarily commit billions of dollars to support corporate media will become even more corrupt — Senator Cruz knows this.
Of course, the Cruz-Klobuchar Amendment doesn’t even attempt to address the myriad other anti-publisher and cartel licensing provisions in the act, such as the unlikely arbitration and litigation provisions.
For example, the bill states that cartels can force big tech companies to go through an arbitration process to determine pricing. But in any such litigation, Big Tech would have an innate advantage — having all the relevant algorithms and competitive information, not to mention more money, resources and lawyers to fight arbitration.
Big tech companies will struggle to disclose any financial or algorithmic data, and how should news media companies protect their own competitive and proprietary information and data from each other in such a process? It’s impossible and a conundrum that the promoters of the JCPA either turn a blind eye or don’t care – no, they just want to pass a poorly conceived and poorly structured bill.
What remedies are there for news media companies excluded from the cartel? Well, it can be sued in federal district court to be included. Doing so would cost hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars and expose all sorts of confidential and proprietary data to competitors.
The inherent respect for an excluded news media company to seek such “remedies” cannot be overstated – assuming it has the resources to even accept to do so.After all, the whole so-called purpose
The purpose of the JCPA is to help financially troubled local news. It is sophistry to think that these financially strapped local news outlets will have the necessary funds and resources to wage such a struggle.
It is for these reasons that Senator Cruz’s actions represent this betrayal. Both he and Senator Klobuchar have presidential ambitions, and they’re on full display here. Both will be leaving the JCPA table trumpeting the mantle of bipartisanship to advance their own personal agendas. However, major St. Americans will be left behind as usual, with fewer sources of news not controlled by the big tech censors. In fact, the news media will only be more grateful to Big Tech if the JCPA passes.
Allum Bokhari is a senior technology reporter for Breitbart News.he is the author #DELETED: Big tech’s battle to eliminate the Trump campaign and steal the election.