Swamp Lobbyists Launch Last Ditch Effort to Add Media Cartel Bill JCPA to Omnibus

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), waves as she departs a U.S. Senate Rules Committee Georgia Fiel
Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Despite triggering huge opposition from across the political spectrum, lobbyists for the world’s largest and wealthiest media companies are still trying to attach the controversial Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA), a massive act of corporate welfare for the media, to an end-of-year omnibus spending bill.

The purpose of the JCPA is to allow big media companies to form a cartel with the power to force Silicon Valley tech giants to give them financial handouts and other favors. The bill contains several provisions that would allow the biggest media conglomerates to sideline conservative and independent competitors, ensuring Big Tech continues to favor the largest corporate media outlets over conservative alternatives.

In addition to the bill’s earliest opponents, including Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Mike Lee (R-UT), and Reps. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Steve Scalise (R-LA), more Republicans in the House and Senate came out against the bill in recent weeks, opposing efforts to add it to an omnibus package.

Marsha Blackburn

U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Via Breitbart News:

The incoming House Majority Whip, Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN), reportedly agrees with Rep. McCarthy’s position that the JCPA should not be included in any end-of-year omnibus.

Senator-elect Katie Britt (R-AL) also slammed the bill recently, saying it has “no place” in an omnibus bill.

Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, condemned the bill as a “barnacle” that should not be added to an omnibus or any other “must-pass” piece of legislation.

House Appropriations Committee member Rep. Ben Cline (R-VA) also said the JCPA should not be lumped in with an omnibus, condemning the practice of attaching controversial bills to must-pass packages like the omnibus.

Sen. Cotton even said that Republicans should filibuster the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) after media lobbyists attached the provisions of the JCPA to the “must-pass” defense spending bill earlier this month.

Cotton accused Democrats of holding the defense budget “hostage” by adding the JCPA, as well as “all kinds of extraneous nondefense measures” to the NDAA. While the JCPA’s text did appear in an early version of the NDAA, it was hastily pulled out at the last minute, amid a massive bipartisan backlash against the bill.

Attempts to pass the JCPA have repeatedly failed over the course of the last congress, as lawmakers slowly became aware of the true nature of the bill: a massive act of corporate welfare for the world’s wealthiest media companies — which already receive billions of dollars from the likes of Facebook and Google.

By forcing Big Tech to deliver massive financial handouts to the media, the JCPA is nothing less than a transfer of wealth from one set of ultra-rich, ultra-powerful corporations to another.

Favoritism for the corporate establishment media, and exclusion of the conservative and independent media is baked into the JCPA.

As Breitbart News previously explained, the bill is written in a way that will allow the biggest conglomerates that own the largest number of publications to dominate any joint negotiating entity created under its provisions, because each eligible media company gets one vote inside a JCPA-created cartel, regardless of its ownership.

For this reason and others, media unions that represent the frontline workers of the journalism industry have also opposed this bill, calling it a bailout for the hedge funds that own the media, not regular journalists.

Conservative critics of the legislation also recognize its potential to deepen collusion between the media and Big Tech. The bill allows JCPA-created cartels to exclude publications on virtually any criteria except for the size or “viewpoint” of a publication.

The viewpoint provision is designed to reassure conservatives that they won’t be excluded, but this rings hollow: the exclusion and censorship of conservatives is always justified on the basis of viewpoint-neutral pretexts, such as ensuring “trust and safety,” preventing “misinformation,” or combating “hate speech.”

There are also national security concerns. Chinese propaganda outlets are increasingly using the corporate establishment media in the west to spread its message to Americans — the same media outlets whose owners will be enriched by the JCPA.

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.


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