Corporate-owned local news: should we expand the 1st Amendment to protect news creators?

Discussion in 'The War Room' started by Trotsky, Aug 28, 2018.

  1. Trotsky

    Trotsky Gold Belt

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    This thread topic was brought to mind by two things:

    1. A thread by @lifelessheap about the optics of local news stations all repeating the same national news headlines passed down to them by their corporate parent company.
    2. A post by @Tropodan suggesting that Facebook and Youtube be nationalized to prevent selective promotion or coverage based on corporate political motivations.

    These two topics seem to me to coalesce into a broader discussion about entitling positive First Amendment rights to content producers in the arena of journalism and news coverage. While I think that the experience of using Facebook/Youtube is too user-driven to really accommodate an argument for nationalization or First Amendment protections (that is, the users pick the videos they watch and the content providers that they follow), I think the argument for more robust protection against censorship does exist for local news outlets.

    As it stands, most local news stations are owned by larger national corporations. This can result in news anchors and stations being forced to propagate the overtly political rhetoric and agenda of their corporate headquarters, as was once displayed when hundreds of local stations owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group read a pre-scripted statement about news bias that clearly tinged of rhetoric espoused by a certain famous politician. Likewise, Sinclair Stations had previously been forced to air short segments by talking heads deriding "snowflakes" and more recently attacking critics of border family separation.


    Because the First Amendment only protects citizens from government infringement on or substitution of speech, if a news station director were to refuse to air these pre-scripted headlines or political rants, they could be fired.


    So, should positive First Amendment rights extended to local stations' journalists or managers so that they can resist scripted political rhetoric from their parent company? This would not be natonalizing local news since the government would not be administering the channels, but it would be extending government status and limitation to corporate parent companies and giving speech protections to local news stations.

    In effect, individual local news organizations would enjoy First Amendment protections from their parent corporation, which is itself being subject to the same limitations as the government faces.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2018
  2. Prefect

    Prefect Brown Belt

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    Is this a lame ass thread started because Drumpf complained about only bad news showing up whe people google him?

    We have government news source pbs, npr, bbc if you are ok with a foreign source. There are also bunches of other search engines besides google and bing.

    The information is there if people want to find it but real journalism is dead not due to corporate malfeasance but nobody wanting to pay for it. All the AP stories and such and pass downs is just the margins are too terrible to have a large staff. No one wants to pay for information and even NPR has to beg for money. Journalism died with people expecting and get free stories off of the internet and not due to evil corporations.
     
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  3. Fawlty

    Fawlty moist robot Yellow Card

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    That's a fuck no to state run media (we've already come dangerously close thanks to Fox), but perhaps RT and Pravda might be of interest to you?

    (and yes, that response takes your last bit into account)
     
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  4. Trotsky

    Trotsky Gold Belt

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    Umm, no. What you describe is (I believe) what prompted @Tropodan's position (but he maintained through his own experience that Google/YouTube was selectively removing videos and search results in a way that was biased against the political right).

    What prompted this thread was cited in the OP: posts by forum members and my own experience with corporate local news.

    Your lack of reading is disappointing, friend.
     
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  5. roofuststuntbum

    roofuststuntbum Orange Belt

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    Mainstream news isn't very informative.
    Whatever agenda is picked for them to talk about, they talk about.

    That being said, i really don't know how to answer the question.

    Whoever is telling the news is usually naturally going to spin it to their own political views.
    And that's regardless if there is influence from the parent company.
    Very hard to find a person that can see things from both sides and be unbiased.
     
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  6. Sketch

    Sketch ?.?.?.?.?.?

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    uppercutbus, flashNsmash and Tropodan like this.
  7. Sketch

    Sketch ?.?.?.?.?.?

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    Dude, absolutely man. That's a big fuck no for state run media.
     
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  8. Trotsky

    Trotsky Gold Belt

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    To your last point, I think the argument for endowing local stations with First Amendment sovereignty is that, even if they are themselves prone to some bias, you are then getting hundreds or thousands of different biases, instead of the bias of a few large corporations.

    It's a matter of keeping the "market" for bias, if such a thing can be conceptualized, from being monopolized. It is more likely that thousands of different independently operated news agencies will reach equilibrium than four or five corporations each owning hundreds of stations and propagating bias according to the same commercial aims.
     
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  9. SIRGAY HARITONOB!

    SIRGAY HARITONOB! RED ARMY BELT

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    I vote for state run media. I'd like to get my lies straight from the horses mouth, rather than the 3x stepped on bunk crap im getting right now.
     
  10. Cubo de Sangre

    Cubo de Sangre President of the War Room

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    For what seems like a couple decades now, I'v been an advocate for decentralizing the media. That's as much government interference as I'm comfortable with.
     
  11. roofuststuntbum

    roofuststuntbum Orange Belt

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    I agree.
    I'd rather listen to a bunch of individual opinions, instead of one corporate fed agenda.
    Then i can sift through it myself and generate my own opinions.
    I enjoy hearing things from both sides, that's why i hate political parties.
     
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  12. Fawlty

    Fawlty moist robot Yellow Card

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    I read it.

    It's not possible to have the government restrict the parent company's rights like this without de facto controlling the content. Expression and content are inseparable.

    It would be better to find some sort of antitrust angle, which is somewhat flexible and avoids wiping our asses with the constitution.
     
  13. Trotsky

    Trotsky Gold Belt

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    As I said to @Fawlty, that was not proffered, but instead only referenced as another poster's potential preference on another front (social media).

    What was proffered was giving First Amendment protections to local stations so that they cannot be forced to air political speech from parent companies, thereby treating parent companies as government actors (which is done in other areas where government functions are contracted out to private corporations such as with privately-maintained public forums).

    This is actually a substantive result of this proposal. It wouldn't break up monopolized corporate ownership, but it would weaken the control of the parent corporations.
     
  14. Trotsky

    Trotsky Gold Belt

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    But understand it, you did not.

    Uhhh, what? That doesn't make sense, as it would not be within the government's ability to have any influence on the content: only on the rights of the local news outlets to forego political rhetoric. Just as citizens have the right to not be government mouthpieces on matters of public importance, so would local channels have the right to not be mouthpieces of the parent company on matters of public importance.

    That's like saying that giving workers 4th amendment protections against search and seizure by their private employers is equal to the government controlling the workers' output.

    This is beside the point, but that is constitutionally untrue. Expression and content are, as a matter of precedent, separable. That's the very basis for TPM restrictions.

    You'll need to elaborate on the ass-wiping bit.
     
  15. roofuststuntbum

    roofuststuntbum Orange Belt

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    Even this whole past election was insane.
    I'm 32, and every presidential election is more or less an attack on the other party.
    I've never voted for someone i REALLY wanted to be president.

    And If you ask most hardcore Trump or Hillary supporters, you know what they say.....
    I didn't vote, because it doesn't matter.
    WTF?
     
  16. Son of Jamin

    Son of Jamin Make MMA Great Again

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    Couldn't agree more. Swedish state controlled media is a cancer to honest reporting and I wouldn't wish it on anyone else.
     
  17. Sketch

    Sketch ?.?.?.?.?.?

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    S'il vous plaît ne pas comparer le canada à l'amérique. Continuez à attaquer vos amis. vous perdrez toute crédibilité. Les médias contrôlés par le gouvernement sont une mauvaise chose.
     
  18. Fawlty

    Fawlty moist robot Yellow Card

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    Bolded, I'm going to let you stew on that, while considering the words "Content-neutral," "Obscenity," "Pornography," and "Fighting Words." When you're ready to extend that to the parent company's speech, let me know and we'll flush it, now that we've wiped our asses.
     
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  19. Trotsky

    Trotsky Gold Belt

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    Stewed. Your position still is very basically misunderstanding the proposition and your statement is inaccurate: content and expression are jurisprudentially separable. That's not up for debate unless you live in another country.

    This is creating more speech that is entirely outside of government control. That is completely different from the government controlling the speech: instead it's protecting the individual outlets' right to speech, whether it is for the corporation's politics, against the corporation's politics, for the government, or against the government. As I said, your position is analogous to saying that, if the government were to extend 4th Amendment protections to private employees against unreasonable search and seizure by their employers, the government is then controlling the employees' freedom - it would actually be creating employee freedom and not giving the government any more control over them.

    Additionally, you're conflating negative and positive speech rights (as well as content and viewpoint discrimination, perhaps) and digging in on your initial misunderstanding. This is a discussion of imputation of government limitation and, at most, government protection of speech rights, which has some precedent at the intersection of your previously-mentioned competition law (see: equal-time rule, net neutrality) and campaign finance law (contribution limits).

    EDIT: I also just realized that I had a typo in my bolded thesis that said "treat the local news outlets as government entities" instead of treat the corporations like government entities and the news outlets like speech-protected citizens. That might have been a source of misstatement.

    I don't know your tongue.

    But this isn't a matter of giving government discretion over the corporation. It is a matter of imputing the limitations of government to the corporations as a narrowing channel of First Amendment speech. So a corporation would not be able to force local outlets that they buy to air anti-Trump or anti-Hillary rhetoric, for instance.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2018
  20. Fawlty

    Fawlty moist robot Yellow Card

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    anyhow, kudos on what should be a very lively thread tomorrow morning
     
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