Supporters of the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA), desperate to secure a Silicon Valley gravy train for the world’s largest and wealthiest media companies while allowing them to censor conservative media, are now playing games with U.S. national security, with a last-ditch attempt to attach the JCPA to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a “must-pass” bill to fund the U.S. armed forces.
Having repeatedly failed to get the bill to a floor vote over the past two years, JCPA supporters are desperately trying to tie the bill to the NDAA.
Supporters of the media bailout bill have secured the backing of Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee which oversees defense spending.
A new version of the bill proposed by Sen. Reed and seen by Breitbart News attached the bill to military appropriations.
The preamble of the bill now reads:
To authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2022 for military activities of the Department of Defense, for military construction, and for defense activities of the Department of Energy, to prescribe military personnel strengths for such fiscal year, and for other purposes.
This brazen last-minute ploy by supporters of the media cartel bill follows what Politico predicted earlier this week: having failed to secure a floor vote to the bill, the JCPA’s supporters now want to attach it to an entirely unrelated bill.
Should the NDAA route fail, the bill’s supporters may also try to attach it to an omnibus spending bill, another type of bill that is seen as a “must-pass.” In doing so, JCPA supporters would move on from jeopardizing U.S. defense spending and instead jeopardize funding for the whole government, in addition to creating further precedent to use must-pass bills to promote narrow special interests.
The purpose of the JCPA is to allow media companies, most owned by wealthy conglomerates, to form negotiating cartels to secure special favors from Big Tech companies, including financial handouts.
The bill has angered both the left and right. The former have emphasized that it is simply a transfer of wealth to already-wealthy media conglomerates, often owned by hedge funds that have made aggressive layoffs across the journalism industry.
Conservatives, including GOP leader Kevin McCarthy, minority whip Steve Scalise, and Sens. Blackburn, Rubio, Cotton, Lee, and Hawley, have also denounced the bill, pointing out that it will deepen ties between Big Media and Big Tech, further enabling censorship, with provisions in the bill to allow any resultant media cartel to exclude or sideline conservative media.
Via Breitbart News:
Even with the hastily-added Senate amendment aimed at addressing conservative concerns regarding collusion between the media industry and Big Tech on the censorship of competitors, the bill still contains plenty of ways for the cartel to sideline conservative media.
Provisions to ensure the cartel cannot discriminate on the basis of “viewpoint” are particularly unconvincing. The pretexts used by social media companies, “fact checkers,” and other arms of the corporate censorship apparatus are almost always viewpoint-neutral. No one is censored for being a conservative, say the censors: they are censored for “misinformation,” “hate speech,” “conspiracy theories,” and other purportedly viewpoint-neutral reasons.
And just today, it was condemned by former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a figure who looms large in national security debates.
Giving the media cartel power to censor conservatives would be a mistake.
Congress should vote down the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act.
— Mike Pompeo (@mikepompeo) December 2, 2022
The bill has nothing to do with national defense. It is being attached to the NDAA for a simple reason: the media lobbyists know that senators and members of congress must and will vote for a defense spending bill. The media, backed by Democrat lackeys in the Senate, are evidently so desperate for Silicon Valley handouts and censorship of the independent media that they are willing to play games with U.S. national security.
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.