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March 11, 2005
Media Notes Covers FEC Showdown With Bloggers

I have given Howard Kurtz some harsh criticism over his lack of coverage in the Eason Jordan controversy, but today he does an excellent job of covering the wide-ranging debate over the FEC and its new charge to strip the Internet of its exemption from the BCRA. Kurtz notes that with the media exempted from the BCRA, the strategy at the moment is to get the FEC to explicitly define bloggers as journalists to work under the same exemption -- a notion for which he sympathizes:

I'm not one of these people who thinks you need a graduate degree, an ID card or an official stamp of approval to call yourself a journalist. Anyone with an idea and a computer can now play the role of reporter, commentator or social critic. People can tell the difference between a New York Times correspondent and, and both have something to contribute.

But this is starting to matter for legal reasons. Time magazine's Matt Cooper and Judith Miller of the New York Times may wind up going to jail for protecting their sources in the Valerie Plame case, but at least they have the standing as journalists to challenge the prosecutor who wants to imprison them. Would a blogger have the same standing?

What about the heavy hand of government regulation? The Federal Election Commission, as you may have heard, is considering slapping some restrictions on political bloggers following a federal judge's ruling on some McCain-Feingold litigation.

Kurtz covers and links to the Shays-Meehan v. FEC decision, the Apple v. Does court case, and Russ Feingold's blog post on MyDD to set the table. He also extensively excerpts from a number of other bloggers, specifically CQ and LaShawn Barber, and reports what I think are the most pertinent arguments to the Post's readers. Be sure to read the entire article.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at March 11, 2005 12:27 PM

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» Bloggers United Against the FEC - Online Coalition from La Shawn Barber's Corner
Whether you blog or not, please sign the Online Coalition's petition letter to Federal Election Commission Chairman Scott E. Thomas. For background information on this issue, see this post from last week, Liberal and Conservative Bloggers United. ... [Read More]

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