VodkaPundit

La Shawn Checks In

Is he gone? I feel like a teenager whose parents have left her alone for the weekend. I’ll try to be good, though.

For my inaugural post, I’d like to bring you up to speed on the possible violation of bloggers’ First Amendment rights. Last week I wrote that the Federal Election Commission (FEC) may extend the campaign finance reform law to the Internet, which includes blogs. If that were to happen, in practice (although utterly impractical), bloggers’ links to political candidates’ web sites would be considered contributions, and our political blogging would be subject to government restrictions

Think about it. Bloggers would have to navigate the intricacies of convoluted laws (Are there any other kind?) just to blog about political candidates. Our speech – online debates and discussion, campaigning, news writing, editorializing, etc. – would be seriously curtailed.

There is a press exemption in the law, and the question is whether bloggers fall under this exemption. The bipartisan Online Coalition, a group of bloggers of all stripes, is requesting that bloggers and online journalists be granted the same protection as newspapers, magazines, etc., under the press exemption. I encourage you to visit the site and show your support by signing the letter to FEC Chairman Scott Thomas.

Although I came to the game rather late, media critic Howard Kurtz quoted me on CNN last week. They showed a screenshot of my blog with the following pull quote: “The one thing uniting liberal and conservative bloggers is a threat to our First Amendment rights.”

That just about sums it up. We are united. Watch the video.

Visit my little corner of the blogosphere.

Also see Wizbang for video and transcripts of the recent Politics Online Conference.