Another Ignominious Anniversary

Everyone’s been noting that this is the anniversary of Roe v Wade, but it’s also the first anniversary of the introduction of that Congressional abomination, the McCain-Feingold “Campaign Finance” (read, “make the world safe for continued major-media free-speech monopoly”) legislation.

Fortunately, it didn’t pass, but in following the time-honored rule of hijacking current events to pass ill-thought-out and irrelevant legislation (see, e.g., gun control and Columbine, or Airline Security Bill and 911), the fall back position of the Democrats, should they not be able to pin Enron on the Bush Administration, will be to use it to pass some new campaign finance law.

In honor of the anniversary, I went back and read the bill.

The part I like the best is where no one can buy any ads within sixty days of an election. As an exercise for the lawyers in the audience, go back and read a few copies of the NYT and WaPo during October of 2000, and see if they broke the theoretical law by providing in-kind ads to various candidates.

In other words, since they sell column-inches, column-inches for their own editorial content could be considered to be of value (since they had to forgo advertising revenue for it). Thus anything that they print in preference to ads could be considered purchasing ad space for themselves. If they used it to put forth points of view favorable to one candidate or another, either on the editorial page, or even in the so-called “objective” news stories, then it seems to me that one could make a case against them under McCain-Feingold.

It will be quite amusing if the bill or something similar to it passes (well, actually, that won’t be very amusing at all) and ironic, if someone actually files such a complaint against them, since they’re the biggest cheerleaders for the legislation, and their hero McCain.