Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Bloggers Beware

The other day I ran across a short article/comment on how the Mainstream Media (MSM) could be contemplating an aggressive counterattack on the blogosphere. Frustratingly, I can't remember where I saw it and efforts to locate it so far have been in vain. It made some very good points though which I think are worth sharing.

The gist of the short piece was that the MSM could try to hamstring bloggers by backing a number of relativey minor legal, tax or regulatory changes. It noted that the vast, vast majority of blogs are money-losers and often exist only due to the passion of the blogger. Even some of the largest ones only barely break even. The MSM, who have seen their influence wane remarkably in the past two years, could strike back by encouraging and importuning Congress to impose new fees, taxes and regulation on the blogosphere. Perhaps the most damaging would be regulations that define "libel" in a very broad way. The threat of lawsuits could silence a lot of bloggers even if paying to blog did not.

It added that prominent Democrats, e.g., John Kerry, would be more than happy to see the blogosphere slapped down and have the much more liberal-friendly MSM regain its lost influence. And the majority of trial lawyers would likely only be more than happy to help.

Click the title of the post for ReasonOnline's caveat about how McCain-Feingold campaign finance legislation could be used to hamstring bloggers.

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