From Town Criers to Bloggers: How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age?
It seems to me that the measures intended will be unconstitutional. Free speech is a right guaranteed by the Constitution. When that right is abridged it is always done so by those whose message is not accepted by enough people to make it financially viable. The reason main stream and liberal journalism is dying is not by a lack of advertising, but because the message is so contrary to the majority of people. Audiences stay with a news program because it gives balanced views. Contrary to liberal complaints, conservative news programs do provide a balanced view of ideas and situations. In fact, it is the liberal media and internet sites that provide only their ideological ideas. Most media outlets have some programs or written dialog that expressly views life through a narrow lens. But, both conservative and liberal media are guilty of this. In fact, from my viewing and reading, the liberal bias is much more rampant than that of the conservative bent. It has always seemed to me that the FTC has been a tool for whatever administration is in power at the time. Only the liberal administrations have used the FTC to try to curtail conservative talk shows. Now you are being used to curtail conservative internet news. This tactic is only used because there is fear of conservative effectiveness. We see daily that the liberal and mainsteam media outlets are losing audiences. Journalism does not need to be shackled, it needs to return to investigating and reporting the news in an unbiased manner. Only then will the majority give them another chance. Newspapers are overwhelmingly liberal and their content reflects only this view. Given that 70% of the country is center to center right in their views, isn't it pretty foolish to think that taxing and punishing free speech will change that dynamic? I believe that you under estimate the influence of parents on their children. The majority of parents are teaching their children to be fair minded and yes, conservative. Even moderately conservative people are offended by the mass liberal reporting. I am always pleasantly surprised by how many children become responsible adults based on the values their parents instill in them. The job of the FTC is not to make information cost more, but to make sure that information is available to the masses. I am sure that my views will be scoffed at by those who are making these decisions, but I feel strongly that objections be posted. Like several other decisions made recently, the majority of Americans opposed them, but were ignored. I expect this to be the same. The good news is that the next administration can reverse this trend.