Thursday, September 22, 2005

Oy, Reporters


The FEC, in its initial rules, had exempted the Internet.

Bloggers told the Committee on House Administration that regulations encompassing the Internet, even ones just on advertising, would have a chilling effect on free speech. The FEC vice chairman also questioned the necessity of any rules.

I don't remember either of us saying anything of the sort. But, for the record, my opinion is that any regulations which place disclosure requirements onto bloggers which are not required of any other members of the media or which in any way open up bloggers to FEC scrutiny that other media are not subject to and which therefore the possibility of getting dragged into a complaints process would have a major chilling effect.

Commissioner Weintraub discussed how it seemed that the FEC would rule that paid political ads, such as anything run through blogads, would have to be disclosed by campaigns in the same way that other media advertising does, but that wouldn't put any disclosure requirements on the bloggers themselves. I don't see how that in and of itself would be a problem, unless the rules were written in a way which had unintended consequences.