I must admit, it was a little alarming to see GW's own Carol Darr listed as an "enemy" of Daily Kos and self-proclaimed "citizen journalists" of the world, in his scathing review of her comments to the FEC on behalf of the Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet. Relatively new to this argument, I have a few first impressions to share (thanks so much to Kathie's Politech for giving me a super starting point):
1) Some sort of federal regulation of online publications seems inevitable.
2) Kos seems unwilling to yield any ground toward any kind of blog regulation. I'd even call him unreasonable at times, even saying that Darr is an embarrassment to GW.
3) The Online Coalition seems a lot more reasonable in its approach, a somewhat middle ground between Kos and IPDI. Highlights: Blogs do not have to provide disclaimers for involvement on a candidate's campaign and the proposal of not regulating forms of communications (such as blogging), but the nature of the communication. These components free blogs up to communicate freely in a manner that would coincide with the intent of campaign finance law.
"For thirty years the campaign finance laws have made a fundamental distinction between political activists and the news media, in order to protect a free press while at the same time limiting the influence of big money on federal elections. Until recently, the distinction between the news media and rest of us was clear and uncontroversial. Bloggers blur that distinction. If anyone can publish a blog, and if bloggers are treated as journalists, then we can all become journalists."My problem, and Kos seems to agree, is that so many members of the press are already blurring the line concerning partisan involvement in elections. But the solution, to agree with Darr and IPDI, is not to get rid of that line. Perhaps we should hold James Carville and Bill Press, two openly partisan recipients of the media exemption, to the same standard.
I need input on this one.