Captain's Quarters Blog

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June 30, 2005
This Is A Blog. This Will Remain A Blog.

Following the depressing nature of the questions at the latest FEC hearing on regulating the Internet, it appears that some bloggers are ready to jump ship, so to speak. Jeralynn Merritt has declared yesterday as the Day the Blogs Died, and now says that TalkLeft is no longer a blog, but an "online magazine." Joining her are Americablog (which might therefore require a name change), The Talent Show, Crooks and Liars, and even Instapundit, although I suspect that Professor Reynolds has tongue firmly in cheek.

Not Captain's Quarters. I may describe myself in a variety of ways, including citizen journalist, free-lance writer, pundit at large -- but foremost in this community, I am a blogger. CQ is a blog, and it will remain a blog. It will undoubtedly evolve over time, offer new concepts to the CQ community, change its look, but at its heart, Captain's Quarters will be a blog.

Why do I insist on that distinction? Because I will not allow the FEC to chase me from my rights as an independent voice in politics to write what I please and to post what I want based on a silly bit of nomenclature. I understand what Jeralyn and other members of the, er, "online magazine community" mean to say with these statements, but I won't surrender to the bureaucrats an inch when it comes to my right to speak my mind. I don't plan on playing silly name games with those who plan on regulating speech for our own good. All that does is play into their strategy of twisting words and meanings until nothing means what it says any more.

I won't do it. I won't play along. I won't even do it as a protest, as these bloggers obviously mean it to be.

I wish my friends the best of luck as they transform themselves into the online magazine community, or 'zines, as they used to be called in the early days. I'm glad to serve instead as the canary in the coal mine, in a manner of speaking. But when the FEC continues playing its word games to avoid exempting the online magazines, don't be too terribly surprised. Eventually, we will all learn that the nannies who want to control political speech will not be stopped by shifting nomenclatures, and as long as we allow them at the levers of power, they will continue to issue ever-encroaching regulations to shut down the inconvenient voices that threaten them.

What will we do then, when we have no more names to hide us?

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at June 30, 2005 5:28 PM

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