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Coalition Requests Inquiry into Hate Speech

by Charles Platt

The National Hispanic Media Coalition, which contains groups with harmless or even benign-sounding names such as Free Press, the Media Access Project, Common Cause, and the Prometheus Radio Project, renewed its demands earlier this month for the FCC to investigate “hate speech” and “misinformation” in the media.

“Hate has developed as a profit-model for syndicated radio and cable television programs masquerading as ‘news’,” they write. And as for the Internet, it “gives the illusion that news sources have increased, but in fact there are fewer journalists employed now than before . . . . Moreover, on the Internet, speakers can hide in the cloak of anonymity, emboldened to say things that they may not say in the public eye.” Well, obviously we can’t have THAT. Anonymity was okay in the Federalist Papers, but–not here, apparently (you can access their document here).

Meanwhile the FTC has released a “staff discussion draft” of ideas to “save” print journalism by innovative strategies such as exempting newspapers from antitrust regulations or funding them with a tax on consumer electronics. This is all very tentative, of course–for now.

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