Patterico's Pontifications


A Lone Voice in the Wilderness

Filed under: Civil Liberties — Patterico @ 10:25 pm

I realize that this puts me at odds with just about every blogger in the known universe, but I don’t intend to sign the online petition seeking a “blogging exemption” from FEC regulation.

I object to carving out blogging as an exception to a patently unconstitutional law. For example, I don’t like language like this:

While paid political advertising on the Internet should remain subject to FEC rules and regulations, curtailing blogs and other online publications will dampen the impact of new voices in the political process and will do a disservice to the millions of voters who rely on the web for original, insightful political commentary.

I disagree with this, to the extent that “paid political advertising” includes political speech by individuals — whether it takes place on or off the internet; and whether or not it is done in “coordination” with a candidate or campaign.

In my view, political speech is speech at the core of the First Amendment. Neither the FEC nor any other government agency has any right to regulate it in any way. When my right to engage in such speech is threatened, my impulse is not to seek out a law carving out some exception for my speech. My impulse is to tell those responsible that they can go to hell.

Look at the big picture, folks. This isn’t about our precious Internet. It’s about the very concept of free speech.

What we’re seeing is not a crazy offshoot of campaign finance “reform” legislation. It’s a logical consequence of it. Something this important can’t be handled by legislation, and left to the whims of lawmakers and regulators. It is a constitutional issue, and affects all free speech. We must treat it that way.

Is anyone out there with me?

Anyone at all?

Estrich-Kinsley Kerfuffle Hits Pages of L.A. Times

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 4:17 pm

Susan Estrich may not be on the pages of the L.A. Times, but the story of her controversial e-mail fight with Michael Kinsley is.

Circulation Trickery?

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 12:07 pm

Instapundit reports on an Editor and Publisher article that I first saw mentioned here by commenter Ken Hoover. It reports on irregularities in newspaper circulation numbers.

Instapundit says that, after he cancelled his newspaper,

They sent a guy to my house to offer me a free subscription. I said no, but last week they just started delivering copies again anyway. I thought it was just a mistake by our carrier, but now I wonder if it wasn’t a circulation-boosting strategy . . . .

He’s not the only one this has happened to. The L.A. Times appears to be giving people free newspapers.

A colleague has recently complained to me that he keeps getting “this trash” (the L.A. Times) thrown on his driveway, though he doesn’t subscribe.

Also, we have recently noticed that, when we bring our copy of the L.A. Times inside in the morning, there is another copy on our neighbor’s doorstep. At first, we figured he had recently started subscribing. But each day when we return home from work, he has put it on our doorstep, apparently assuming that it’s ours.

Is anyone else being force-fed the L.A. Times?

UPDATE: I originally thought Instapundit’s quote specifically referred to the L.A. Times, but a commenter says he doesn’t think so. Upon reflection, he’s probably right.

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