Tuesday, July 12

FEC Hears Bloggers' Bid to Share Media Exemption

This is a serious concern. The Washington Post is reporting on the FEC hearings on the issue of media exemptions, but it doesn't seem they have extended this to independent bloggers.

I do believe that bloggers need to provide for some sort of self-regulation, and we need to protect ourselves from profiteering bloggers that would take money from a corporation or PAC. The ones that will ultimately suffer are the little guys--the independent blogger. The 2006 and 2008 election are going to be paramount, and without the accountability that the blogs provide, it would be a mess and a disaster!

I personally do not take any money from anyone for my blogging. If that changes in the future, I will post it here and let my readers know.
The FEC appears to have settled on about half a dozen issues, the most contentious of which is known as the "media exemption." It refers to provisions that exempt the news media from campaign finance laws, including a nearly 100-year-old law barring corporate contributions to political candidates.

That exemption allows journalists working for corporations such as The Washington Post, Fox News and WTOP to go about their daily business without having to worry about running afoul of the law. Those protections, designed to protect the freedom of the press, allow newspapers, for example, to endorse political candidates without having those writings be considered contributions to the campaigns.

The FEC is now considering whether rules should apply to publications on the Internet. It announced earlier this year that it is inclined to formally extend the exemption to the Web sites of traditional news operations, along with such sites as Slate, Salon and the Drudge Report that exist only online. The panel did not take a position on granting the protection to bloggers, some of whom have incorporated for liability purposes. Instead, the agency asked the public for comments on the issue and held two days of hearings, much of which focused on the exemption question.