Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) shocked the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday when he announced he would back the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA).
Grassley said during a markup of the JCPA he would support the legislation. The JCPA, if enacted, would carve out an antitrust exemption for establishment media outlets. Grassley’s announcement shocked many that expected him to oppose the legislation.
“I just everyone to know that I support this bill. Because I could associate myself with your remarks [Sen. Dick Durbin’s (D-IL)] in regard my support for it. I may vote for some of the amendments, but I”m going to vote for the bill regardless,” he explained.
Conservatives have also increasingly opposed the legislation, including Sens. Josh Hawley (R-MO), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Marco Rubio (R-NC), and Thom Tillis (R-NC) have also said they would oppose the bill.
Grassley’s announcement of his support for the bill follows as Breitbart News has reported many lobbyists for the bill have said it will curb “misinformation.”
For instance, in March 2021, David Chavern, the president and CEO of the News Media Alliance, a trade association representing the largest media conglomerates, said the bill would help limit the spread of “misinformation.”
Chavern said the “the cost of inaction, in terms of the spread of misinformation we are all experiencing, is simply too great to ignore any longer.”
At a later House Judiciary Committee hearing on the bill, Chavern said the media industry deserved to be bailed out because it “acted as a clear antidote to the scores of misinformation impacting communities across the country.”
Emily Barr, CEO of Graham Media Group, another establishment media representative, said, “This past year has also tested our democracy and the very pillars upon which it stands, including a free and diverse press. Due in large part to the misinformation circulating unchecked in the digital ecosystem, more and more Americans have lost faith in the information reaching their eyes and ears.”
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), in a statement explaining his opposition to the bill, said that Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said that the bill would curb “widespread misinformation.”
“Any conservative considering this bill should note that Jerry Nadler is a lead sponsor and cites “widespread misinformation” as a rationale—in other words, they know this cartel will censor conservatives,” said Sen. Cotton.
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.