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Thursday, February 2, 2023
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Congress Yanks Media Funding from Defense Bill after Facebook Threat

'Put simply: the government creating a cartel-like entity which requires one private company to subsidize other private entities is a terrible precedent for all American businesses...'

(Jacob Bruns, Headline USA) Congress decided to remove a provision from the the impending National Defense Authorization Act that was designed to help bail out major media companies that are failing due to their lack of serious and credible journalism.

The decision to scuttle the so-called the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act came not because of political outrage over the media’s collusion in covering up bombshells like the Hunter Biden laptop scandal, but rather from being shaken down by Facebook, who stood to lose from the deal, Breitbart reported.

Earlier this week GOP Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell appeared poised to cave to out-going House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., regarding the inclusion of the media cartel provision in the recently passed defense bill.

The measure, which had nothing to do with national defense, would have effectively transferred wealth from Silicon Valley to the corporate media by allowing large media companies to construct  “joint negotiating entities.”

But now, after a threat from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg that the platform might cease publishing news stories altogether, Congress caved, removing the JCPA from the bill and showing not only that it is a servile institution, but that it is caught between two masters: Big Tech and the legacy media.

After the news of the JCPA initially broke, Facebook spokesman Andy Stone published a statement regarding the media provision:

“If Congress passes an ill-considered journalism bill as part of national security legislation, we will be forced to consider removing news from our platform altogether rather than submit to government-mandated negotiations that unfairly disregard any value we provide to news outlets through increased traffic and subscriptions,” he wrote.

“Put simply: the government creating a cartel-like entity which requires one private company to subsidize other private entities is a terrible precedent for all American businesses,” he continued.

Many people on the right also opposed what appears to be establishment collusion.

“The worst ideas in Congress never die; they just get sneaked into unrelated bills,” wrote Reason magazine senior editor Elizabeth Nolan Brown. “This week, that means lawmakers are reportedly trying to burrow a bad media protectionism bill into defense spending authorization.”

The conservative group FreedomWorks also piled on:

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