Quick, let’s fast forward to the end of this non-controversy

Here’s a challenge to CNET – Prove there is a “coming crackdown on blogging”: Somebody at CNET has decided to put this ridiculous headline on an interview with a Federal Election Commissioner: 

“The coming crackdown on blogging”

Reading the story, the “crackdown” is a hypothetical, possibility of
maybe there being a chance perhaps that the FEC may try to place a
value on the link bloggers make to a candidate’s website and then
perhaps maybe try to treat those links as an unfair contribution.

If the columnist or anyone at CNET or anyone who is going to be
screaming about this today can produce one member of Congress who will
go on record supporting any such measure, I will head to the streets
along with anyone else who wants to protest this “coming crackdown.”

Produce that member of Congress who will support “cracking down on bloggers.”

Not a member of Congress who says the other Party wants to crack down on bloggers.

Not a member of Congress who says, “we need to look into this.”

Not a member of Congress who says, “the other Party is abusing this.”

But one member of Congress who says, “I’ve looked into this and I
support specific regulation and a specific new law that will crack down
on bloggers who link to a candidates website….”

If CNET can produce one member of Congress who will go on record saying
they support specific regulations by the FEC that crack down on
bloggers who link to a campaign website, then, and only then, will this
be more than another faux controversy.

Update: Finally, after all these years of wishing and hoping, I’ve been instalanched…where you’ll also find links to other views. (Background: instalanche)

Update II: I
fear this meme is going to turn into a cause that’s based on a strange
headline of an interview of hypothetical conjecture. (Right up there
with Congress is going to tax e-mail, or something) The exploration of
a theory — that blogger’s links have some monetary value and should be
treated as in-kind contributions — is merely that, an exercise in
hypothesis. Produce a member of Congress who says, specifically, they
believe the practice of linking to a campaign website should be banned
or fined or regulated, then I’m right there with you, brother. Hand me
my picket.

Martha 24/7

Martha 24/7: My print-version
of the WSJ this morning features a fascinating page-one story on Martha
Stewart’s prison stay based on letters with Stewart and inmates she
befriended during her “sabbatical” in West Virginia. On the back of the
front section is a full page CNBC ad that is a giant picture of a
smiling Martha. While I have blogged plenty about Martha Stewart since
the day the story broke
(warning: the photo you will see on that post was photoshopped by me
and that’s not really Martha Stewart’s body), I won’t be blogging her
coronation this weekend.

However, I predict that before this is all over, the promotion
departments of other media companies will be trying to figure out how
to encourage their CEOs to take time off for prison so they can tap
into all this post-incarceration-marketing strategy.

Ironically, the federal prosecutors who wanted to make Stewart an
“example” of something (I never quite figured it out as even they could
not find an insider-trading charge to pin on her) will end up
providing a few days of non-stop coverage of Stewart explaining how so
much is broken in the federal prosecution and penitentiary system.