Free speech is free speech
: The Center for Creative Voices and I are allies in the fight against censorship and government regulation of speech but we part over government regulation of the business of media. Creative Voices just released its media bill of rights. We agree at the start:
A free and vibrant media, full of diverse and competing voices, is the lifeblood of Americaís democracy and culture, as well as an engine of growth for its economy.
They believe that corporate consolidation is ruining that. I believe that the internet is solving that and corporate consolidation is about the dinosaurs huddling together for warmth as their ice age approaches. I believe the market and technology are giving us incredible control and diversity.
At Freedom to Connect, Susan Crawford told us that we should not ask for regulation where we want it or we will get it where we don’t want it: Witness the PBS kerfluffle.
Creative Voices wants regulation on ownership of media — of the press, regulation on diversity of hiring in media; regulation mandating content on the airwaves:
Electoral and civic, childrenís, educational, independently produced, local and community programming, as well as programming that serves Americans with disabilities and underserved communities.
Media that reflect the presence and voices of people of color, women, labor, immigrants, Americans with disabilities, and other communities often underrepresented.
But if you ask for that kind of regulation to give you the programming you think the world should have, you open the door to regulation to give the other side the programming they think the world should have. You want shows about people of color and women and immigrants. They want shows with God and no sex.
The only answer is the First Amendment as it applies to speech, content, regulation, and ownership:
Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…
(And, yes, I now believe this holds for political speech as well.)
: CORRECTION: Jon Rintels, head of Creative Voices, corrects me in the comments: Creative Voices signed the bill of rights with others and did not release it on its own. He urges you to read the bill. So do I. We disagree about some things and agree about others so have at it.