Oh wait, the FEC is not going to crackdown on bloggers afterall. Thanks for clearing that headline up, CNET: Today, six days late, CNET runs an interview with FEC Commissioner, Ellen Weintraub, with the headline, “Bloggers, chill out already!“
While I don’t like this condescending headline, at least what Ms. Weintraub has to say passes the smell test.
Background: Last week, within 30 seconds of reading the interview that CNET editors headlined, “The coming crackdown on blogging,” I knew immediately that the interview — and especially the headline — didn’t pass the smell test. I knew that CNET, by choosing that headline, was throwing a lit match onto gasoline.
Someone at CNET should have slammed on the breaks on that first
interview and said, let’s provide a little context on the motives of
the individual who is making these claims, or, let’s provide another
FEC commissioner the chance to balance what this guy is alleging.
a few minutes of that first CNET article, “the Federal Election
Commission” wants to shut down bloggers from linking to campaign
websites meme spread throughout the blogosphere.
Fortunately, folks like Glenn Reynolds and Jeff Jarvis
linked to my original post and said “Rex is skeptical” so the “blogger
crackdown” angle met with at least some initial resistance in its first
few minutes of life. (Frankly, no one would have noticed what I said
were it not for Glenn as only seven people usually read this blog.)
Folks like Greg Wallace added his concerns to mine; that false controversies like this steal the attention from real threats. (You know, REAL threats.)
have a very verifiable track record for opposing intrusion and
overzealous regulation by the federal government. And, ironically, I
think the campaign finance laws that were the theoretical basis for
this alleged threat to bloggers are misguided and misapplied. However,
when a blogger crys wolf over this kind of fake threat, it’s hard for
me to take him or her seriously when a real threat appear.