Jun 18, 2005

When Congress Attacks ... the Internet

That fucko Santorum's (R-PA) at it again. He introduced a bill - HR 2726 - that opens the door to more and more influence from the private sector on what media we - as supposedly "free" Americans - get access to to read, form ideas --- you know...that whole "marketplace of ideas" thing.

According to this article from the Palm Beach Post:

The bill, introduced last week by Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., would prohibit federal meteorologists from competing with companies such as AccuWeather and The Weather Channel, which offer their own forecasts through paid services and free ad-supported Web sites.

Supporters say the bill wouldn't hamper the weather service or the National Hurricane Center from alerting the public to hazards — in fact, it exempts forecasts meant to protect "life and property."

But critics say the bill's wording is so vague they can't tell exactly what it would ban.

This utter bullshit bill just reminds me of this paper I wrote back in grad school about public journalism and how the Chinese government banned all websites that were critical of the government, like the Falun Gong.

The Great Red Firewall, as its called, exists solely to stifle and discourage any type of forum for "free information and discussion."

I mean, if Santorum's bill passes, the Internet as we know it will become sanitized, filtered, bland, non-confrontational. Sure, maybe we'd have to pay for an AccuWeather forecast because of this bill, but who's to say that they won't try to extend this ban to libraries who offer free internet access to people who can't afford it? Or ban websites overly critical of this current administration (I can think of a couple of blogs that fit into this category)? Based on how this administration loves to fudge data and overutilize PR to the max, the idea isn't all that far fetched.

At least to me. Maybe I'm making this a bigger issue, and at its essence it's about big business given free reign over our lives with the Republicans as the evil enablers.

Either way, it's got to fucking stop already. Leave media alone. A democratic society needs a free marketplace of ideas and a place for discourse. Stop fucking with it. That's my message to Rick Santorum and everyone else in the legislature who continues to be an accomplice to the most non-transparent administration in history.

Tom's post at Who Hijacked Our Country is responsible for getting me all riled up. As a journalism-school graduate, media issues really get me excited. Excited enough to sign this petition.

Please, check out Tom's post. I hope it gets you riled up enough to take some action too.

Again, have a great weekend, everybody.


Angie said...

I posted you on blogsbywomen.blogspot.com ... :)

Adobo said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Adobo said...

What does one expect from such a "frothy" individual?

I mean following Rick Santorum's "slippery slope" argument against the Supreme Court's decision to strike down sodomy laws, Dan Savage decided to give the word "Santorum" a well deserved definiton.

"The frothy mix of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex."

In my opinion, Dan Savage was being nice! Need I say more? Will definitely sign up for the petition!

OldHorsetailSnake said...

I love the Dan Savage definition of a santorum. Sounds about right. Maybe too kind.

Kind of reminds me of "Myra Breckenridge," which was sanitized in deference to the Supreme Court. So "prick" never appeared. Instead you would take a leak with your "rehnquist." Very logical.

MikeJ said...

There's more to this story, too. To quote Deep Throat, since he's in the news so much lately, "Follow the money."

Santorum has received campaign contributions from AccuWeather, which is based in State College, PA. Their latest contribution came two days before Sen. Santorum introduced this current bill.

Ugh...regretably, I'm one of Santorum's constituents. But there might be a light at the end of the tunnel...according to a Survey USA poll, Santorum has the highest disapproval rating of any Senator, and he's down by 14 points in recent polls in his battle for re-election against PA Treasurer Bob Casey Jr.

Tom Harper said...

Great post, Mags. Thanks for the mention.

I like that definition of Santorum (except that it was too nice, like Adobo747 said).

Adobo said...

A 5 min cartoon that says it all... WARNING not for the fainthearted.


Remember...I warned you!

jurassicpork said...

"As a journalism-school graduate, media issues really get me excited." Mags

Then I'm surprised that you aren't blogrolled to mediamatters.org, whose sole it is to set the record straight in the media.