Reason Roundup

Congress Wants to Help Broker a Better Tech Deal for Big Media

Plus: psychedelics research bill moves forward, big companies push back against abortion bans, and more...

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Congress wants to help broker better tech deal for Big Media. Today, members of the U.S. House of Representatives will "be hearing multiple pitches for a bill called the Journalism and Preservation Act," pushed by "lobbyists for the newspaper industry," CNN Business reports.

Politicians may have a historically rocky relationship with traditional press, but at least they can control it somewhat, especially through soft means like bullying reporters over bad takes or promising access in exchange for "fair" coverage. Online platforms are a whole different beast, and one that leaves neither establishment journalists nor political authorities with room to hide from the masses, nor protection from anyone with a phone reporting on their antics. It's no wonder that—the president's bluster about Fake News asidewe're seeing a growing alliance between Washington and the news industry when it comes to technology policy and punishment.

The media bill (H.R. 2054) being hashed out today may not be so bad in itself. It "would provide newspapers and online publishers with a four-year antitrust exemption, allowing them to band together in negotiations with online platforms," writes CNN's Brian Stelter.

But the people pushing it sound scarily like all they really want is crony corporatist solutions to competition from digital technology and the masses. They want to be able to force all sorts of online intermediaries and web platforms to conduct business on terms that are favorable to certain big publications.

David Chavern, CEO of the News Media Alliance, told CNN that if publishers could come together to negotiate, they could pressure platforms with regard to not just economic arrangements between press and tech companies but also sharing their customer data, their algorithms (or as Chavern calls them, "secret rules that change on a moment's notice"), and control over which publications they promote. Hmm…

Do we really want both tech platforms and all sorts of media outlets to be able to access our data? Why should The New York Times or CNN get a say in what social media companies promote on their own platforms? Or to peek at the private intellectual property and business practices of these companies? And how in the world does that help anyone but, well, Big Media?

No matter how many news outlets band together, they're not going to find a way to stop a lot of advertisers from choosing social platforms and search engines (one of the big things harming traditional media right now). Nor are they likely to succeed finding some way to force platforms like Google News to pay publishers for links (why oh why would a platform pay you to promote your product?).

When giving details, these groups show a fundamental misunderstanding or dishonesty about how online monetization works.

In any event, House members are expected to discuss the bill at a hearing today titled "Online Platforms and Market Power, Part 1: The Free and Diverse Press." It starts at 2 p.m.

In the meantime, check out Nick Gillespie on the question: "Are Google and YouTube evil?" and read Andrea O'Sullivan on what antitrust actions against them would mean.


FREE MINDS

Good news:


FREE MARKETS

187 companies sign on to letter against abortion laws. Big companies from H&M to Slack to Ben & Jerry's ice cream are critiquing abortion bans passed in some states recently. From Business Insider:

Banks, tech firms, media companies, and fashion brands jointly signed a full-page ad in The New York Times, published Monday, that said: "Equality in the workplace is one of the most important business issues of our time." Signatories on the open letter — titled "Don't Ban Equality" — included Bloomberg, Ben & Jerry's, Postmates, H&M, Yelp, Atlantic Records & Warner Media Group, Tinder, and Slack.

"Restricting access to comprehensive reproductive care, including abortion, threatens the health, independence and economic stability of our employees and customers," the companies said in the letter, adding they employ more than 108,000 workers.

"Simply put, it goes against our values and is bad for business," they said. "It impairs our ability to build diverse and inclusive workforce pipelines, recruit top talent across the states, and protect the well-being of all the people who keep our businesses thriving day in and out."


QUICK HITS

  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection's facial recognition database has already been breached.
  • Are you ready for "fully automated luxury communism"?
  • "What's happening is that the broader national context is changing, not that the cannabis laws didn't have this initial protective effect" against opioid overdoses, Johns Hopkins professor Brendan Saloner told the Wall Street Journal.
  • A case involving the Obamacare contraception mandate and Notre Dame University health coverage goes to federal court today.
  • Making grifting simple again? "Trump-era grifting is unique in its shamelessness," but Mitch "McConnell and his wife harken back to a simpler (and more enduring) time," quips The Bulwark, reporting on the latest scandal involving Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.
  • Target is expanding paid leave to all employees, regardless of whether they work full- or part-time.

NEXT: Will Antitrust Action Against Big Tech Resolve Anything?

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  1. Another lawsuit has been filed against Masterpiece Cakeshop.

    But this time it’s for making a cake that’s too gay.

    1. That’s the next development: “Defendant disrespected plaintiff by going the extra mile and being perceived as sarcastic.”

      1. It was filed by the same tranny loon that’s been harassing him with lawsuits for several months now.

        Note to chemjeff–this is what actual harassment looks like, not mean words on Twitter.

      2. ‘What? I thought the design of them sucking each other off was cute. Was that wrong?’

    2. Hello.

    3. Another lawsuit has been filed against Masterpiece Cakeshop.

      Masterpiece Kabuki Theatre!

      amiright?

  2. Are you ready for “fully automated luxury communism”?

    I for one welcome our new pampering apparatchikbots.

    1. Well, it worked on Star Trek.

      1. Everyone’s a commie in a post-scarcity galaxy. Except for the Ferengi.

        1. And everyone is a cog in a ubiquitous “federation”.

          1. I just assumed we were more on path to become the Borg than the Federation in this analogy.

  3. “Don’t Ban Equality”

    “At Least, Not Before Defining It”

  4. “I have the highest regard for them, and they’re my close friends,” Amash said. “I didn’t want to be a further distraction for the group.”

    …as they continue to shill for something nowhere near akin to freedom.

    1. …as he continues to shill for something nowhere near akin to freedom.

      FTFY.

      Because there’s no way you think it’s possible to obstruct an investigation into a crime said investigation says doesn’t exist.

      1. Because there’s no way you think it’s possible to obstruct an investigation into a crime said investigation says doesn’t exist.

        Unless… he was on double-secret probation.

  5. New York lawmakers introduced legislation to decriminalize prostitution in the whole state.

    You can legally possess up to a gram of paid sex for personal use.

    1. How many hookers will you be allowed to grow at home?

      1. That remains unlimited. However, strict penalties for having sex with them

  6. A case involving the Obamacare contraception mandate and Notre Dame University health coverage goes to federal court today.

    Some joke in there about “no to dental dam” or something. I don’t know. You figure it out.

    1. the Obamacare contraception mandate

      Nice band name.

      1. Nothing says serving the populace like a mandate.

        1. “To Serve the Populace”

          Its a cookbook!!!

      2. I don’t go on man dates.

    2. Watching the Irish fold like a wet noodle to Clemson last season should have had a similar effect on the noodles of its students and faculty. Problem solved.

    3. Problems for the f***ing Irish!

  7. We looked at 560 civil asset forfeiture cases across 4 Texas counties. 2 out of every 10 cases never resulted in a criminal charge.

    Texas LEO: It could have been worse, so you’re welcome.

    1. Texas LEO

      Do I have to wear a big belt buckle?

      1. And mirrored aviators.

        1. And a mountme hat?

  8. “187 companies sign on to letter against abortion laws.”

    Great news!

    I’ve already had some success convincing my progressive friends that “the billionaires” aren’t so bad, when I inform them the Koch Brothers fund open borders advocacy. Now that many companies are on the record supporting access to abortion care, progressives should be less likely to criticize “the corporations” or complain about Citizens United.

    #CEOsKnowBest
    #SocialJusticeThroughCapitalism

  9. U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s facial recognition database has already been breached.

    Meh.

    1. We’re they hot or not?

  10. The Wall Street Journal unearths another instance of Kamala Harris siding with the police. unions over criminal justice reformers during her time as a “progressive prosecutor.”

    She’s going to make some woke ticket-topper a fine running mate.

    1. “I was smoking dope at the time! I didn’t know what I was doing!”

    2. She already has experience being Willie Brown’s chew toy.

  11. The War on Drugs has caused so much harm. It’s time to reverse it.

    The enforcement arm of central policies relies on the increased citizen interaction the drug war provides.

    1. So AOC is seeing through at least one brand of coercive pseudoscience? It’s a start. Mebbe the Dems will drop their suicidal No Volts planks and start getting votes again…

  12. The BirthStrikers have decided they can’t bring children into a world where scientists predict climate change will bring bigger wildfires, more droughts, and food shortages for millions of people.

    It’s probably best for first-world people not to reproduce. And if that results in a population with too many old people and too few young able-bodied workers, the answer is simple — more immigration.

    1. More immigrants into a world with wildfires, droughts, and food shortages?! YOU MONSTER!!

      1. Well, maybe the immigrants are trying to escape countries with the worst raging wildfires and move somewhere safer. Ever think of that?

        #OpenBordersForFireSafety

        1. Fleeing raging wildfires into a country filled with white people engaging in unregulated microaggressions against brown bodies? Talk about jumping out of the fire and into the frying pan.

    2. Turns out Idiocracy was a prophetic glimpse into the future.

  13. They want to be able to force all sorts of online intermediaries and web platforms to conduct business on terms that are favorable to certain big publications.

    Hey, as long as it ultimately stops Putin from keeping Hillary out of the White House she’s earned…

  14. “We now have *bipartisan support* for our amendment allowing expanded research into psychedelics.”

    “And I think you know what I mean by “expanded research”! *wink*wink*”

    1. Sorry baby, I have to “work” all weekend.

  15. I for one reserve comment until David French chimes in.

  16. “187 companies sign on to letter against abortion laws. Big companies from H&M to Slack to Ben & Jerry’s ice cream are critiquing abortion bans passed in some states recently.”

    So, now I can’t shop without taking a stand on abortion?

    That shouldn’t be under the heading of “Free Markets’ unless the heading was written in irony font.

    1. Tinder is for abortion?? Whodathunkit

      As for taking a stand while shopping, I wish I could insert the clip of Elaine and Jerry eating at Poppie’s

      1. Hey, political posturing and social signaling is now THE MOST IMPORTANT THING. Hats off to businesses that meet this consumer need, and make more money.

        (It does make life in public suck more.)

    2. It’s cheaper than maternal leave.

  17. Still think the wage gap is a “myth”?

    Women reach their earnings peak 11 years before men and are paid $35,000 less, survey shows

    I know I was just praising the corporate world for its promotion of reproductive rights. But clearly more needs to be done for gender equality.

    #WageGap
    #LibertariansForGenderQuotas

    1. But their sex drive peaks 11 years after men, so it works out.

    2. I will endorse “equal pay” for women when they volunteer to give up their 7 extra years of life expectancy.

    3. Women reach their earnings peak 11 years before men and are paid $35,000 less, survey shows

      Yes, these less experienced women should be paid the same as their 11 years more experienced male counterparts. THAT’s equality!

      /s

  18. “Equality in the workplace is one of the most important business issues of our time.”

    Then it’s settled. Dudes can’t have free abortions, either. Or whatever’s going on here.

  19. Harris should pivot.

    I admit I wasn’t woke. But now I am. I evolved.

    It worked for Barry and he got himself on Ellen!

    1. Gross

  20. The Ben & Jerry’s barometer. If Ben & Jerry’s is for or against something, do the opposite.

    1. And buy more gelato.

      1. Real gelato. Not that fake crap.

    2. I love Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, and I love it despite their fucking politics, certainly not because of them.

      I’ve been a big evangelist for Slack both to various companies for professional stuff–as well as to friends and families as a superior alternative to Facebook. Please don’t make me regret telling people about Slack. Hell, Slack is about to have direct listing non-IPO. Why would you sign on to something like this ahead of that? You want individual small investors to pass on your IPO because of your stupid opinion on school prayer? Sometimes a market or a product is so good, even a bunch of idiots can ride it to the top–and Slack might be a good example of that. I’ve know other software people who are so dumb they can’t seem to stop needlessly alienating the people around them, too.

      1. You should try Blue Bell if you haven’t. You’ll never go back to B&J’s

        1. I will!

          Not because I’m pro-life (which, I’m not, exactly). Just for the hope of better ice cream.

          1. Same. While I do enjoy nuts in my ice cream, I try to leave uteri out of it.

      2. It does seem like an ill advised action for a growing company that wants a broad user base. They must really live in a bubble.

    3. Jerry Garcia was against voting Gee Oh Pee or Dem. The Grateful Dead urge fans to vote. The LP could cop some votes there by simply licking fewer Republican boots.

  21. “Restricting access to comprehensive reproductive care, including abortion, threatens the health, independence and economic stability of our employees and customers,” the companies said in the letter, adding they employ more than 108,000 workers.

    “Simply put, it goes against our values and is bad for business,” they said. “It impairs our ability to build diverse and inclusive workforce pipelines, recruit top talent across the states, and protect the well-being of all the people who keep our businesses thriving day in and out.”

    Sounds specious.

    1. “Simply put, it goes against our values and is bad for business,” they said. “It impairs our ability to build diverse and inclusive workforce pipelines, recruit top talent across the states, and protect the well-being of all the people who keep our businesses thriving day in and out.”

      It’s unnecessarily exclusive to a fat chunk of your workforce, who should be focused on making great products and giving great customer service rather the abortion issue.

      In most every office I’ve worked in, there’s usually someone who’s made it their job to organize birthday parties, Christmas parties, baby showers, hold little contests, etc.–and that person invariably needs to be fired for being a distraction–which is worse than useless.

      1. If it weren’t for forced socializing at the office, some people would have no social lives at all.

      2. In most every office I’ve worked in, there’s usually someone who’s made it their job to organize birthday parties, Christmas parties, baby showers, hold little contests, etc.–and that person invariably needs to be fired for being a distraction–which is worse than useless.

        Sounds like every HR person I’ve ever met.

        1. If you’re lucky it’s an HR person.

          But, yeah, the HR people are generally a great place to look to cut fat.

      3. and that person invariably needs to be fired for being a distraction–which is worse than useless.

        Wrong. Fostering a friendly office environment and having breaks for personal celebration can actually increase productivity. I wouldn’t want to work with or for robots. I enjoy the moments of non-work at work, so long as they are not so frequent as to be a distraction.

        1. All work and no play can be a bad thing, but constantly being distracted by shit that doesn’t matter is a greater danger.

          Meanwhile, I find a productive office to make for a far more enjoyable work experience. And they aren’t exactly mutually exclusive. People often do have fun while they work.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIwa9sPFT5I

          Being bullied into attending parties for people you don’t know and may not even like, on the other hand, isn’t enjoyable at all. Just an awkward and unnecessary distraction.

          P.S. Bringing up abortion unnecessarily is also an unnecessary distraction.

  22. “If Mexico fails to contain a wave of Central American illegal immigrants, it will consider a U.S. demand that Mexico become a safe third country, a legal designation requiring asylum seekers to stay in Mexico, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said Monday.”

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/in-mexicos-south-police-check-buses-trains-in-migrant-crackdown-11560205318?

    We’er finally getting clarity on asylum seekers.

    According to Ebard’s earlier statements, when they say “consider”, they mean putting an agreement in front of Mexico’s Senate, which is what a bilateral “safe third country” agreement would require. They’ve agreed to do so if they haven’t been able to shut down the flow of asylum seekers in 90 days. My guess is that it will probably take Trump actually hitting them with increasing tariffs before the Senate will agree to such a thing, so brace yourselves.

    That being said, if Trump solves the asylum seeker crisis through bilateral agreements, properly ratified treaties, and with only the threats of tariffs as a cost to U.S. consumers and taxpayers, then that’ll be a lot better than building a wall. All the people who opposed Trump building a wall and/or hitting Mexico with tariffs must be lining up to congratulate him on doing such a great job. It doesn’t let asylum seekers into the country at a rate of more than a million a year (per the May numbers), but unless you’re in favor of that, you should be happy with Trump’s performance on this.

    1. Nobody is allowed to be happy with anything Trump does.

    2. This assumes anyone dislikes trump for objective policy reasons.

      1. “…you should be happy with Trump’s performance on THIS.”

        Reading comprehension is apparently a dying skill.

        1. yeah I got it. it still assumes anyone dislikes trump for objective policy reasons. I’m not really criticizing Ken here as he raises good points.

        2. You had to read Idle Hands’ comment in the most ungenerous way to come up with this snark in response.

  23. SF spends $250M/year providing bums with food and shelter. Now?

    “San Francisco proposes nation’s first universal mental health care system”
    […]
    “Hillary Ronen and Matt Haney, elected officials on the city’s Board of Supervisors, will officially introduce their plan during Tuesday’s board meeting. The plan, which is called “Mental Health SF,” would include a 24/7 treatment center for any city resident in need of help, whether that’s counseling for anxiety or emergency care to treat a psychotic episode.”
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/06/04/san-francisco-could-pass-free-mental-health-care-all/1342622001/

    1. Thats dumb but I’m all for local governments doing dumb shit instead of our federal government doing dumb shit. At least a little easier to reverse the dumb shit they do at the local level.

      1. Next up: SF demands multibillion dollar federal grant to fund local dumb shit mental health boondoggle.

  24. Trump-era grifting is unique in its shamelessness…

    From the article it seems pretty standard fare.

    1. It needs to be classy and aboveboard like the Clinton Foundation .

      1. Cucks are fine with being cucked as long as their noses aren’t rubbed in it.

  25. Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-Large – For anyone who watches Fox News Channel, it’s not at all surprising that its anchors and hosts (with few notable exceptions) talk up President Donald Trump while knocking down the Democrats running against him in 2020.

    While that position puts Fox somewhere in the gray area between journalism and activism, it’s not exactly new. There are ratings in partisanship — so Fox News engages in partisanship.
    But even partisanship should have its limits. And one of those limits should be raising entirely unfounded questions about a presidential candidate’s health. Which is exactly what two Fox News personalities — Kennedy and Sean Hannity — have done, according to this terrific piece by the Daily Beast Justin Baragona:
    “Since the end of May, Fox Business Network and Fox News star Lisa ‘Kennedy’ Montgomery and Fox News prime-time host Sean Hannity have speculated on-air, on at least four separate occasions, that the current Democratic presidential frontrunner is secretly dealing with health issues, often comparing his condition to illness-related conspiracy theories the network pushed about Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election.”

    1. Who watches FOX, CNN, NBC or any MSM news outlet anymore?

      If you need news, try finding it off the internet via some compilation site like Google News, RonPaulNews.net, Drudge Report, or whatever and pick the articles that interest you.

      First, you save on paying tv taxes and help bankrupt these horrible networks.

      Second, you are more informed about issues because you can find articles written by people with different views. No more propaganda from the WaPo and such.

    2. You watch TV?

  26. often comparing his condition to illness-related conspiracy theories the network pushed about Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election

    So Hillary didn’t collapse at the 9/11 ceremony in NYC? That was all photoshopped or something?

    1. CNN doesn’t run news stories diagnosing Trump’s Mental health. Now if they were just guilty of talking heads sniping about his diet and weight….

  27. “Simply put, it goes against our values and is bad for business,” they said.

    Murdering future customers is not bad for business?

    I think this is hilarious as its outing all these companies for what they want to be. They are full of employees who want to have government force Americans buy their crap and then use their salaries to support more Socialism.

    I suspected a bunch of these Lefties were flooding into business because the government does not pay as well and all the insecurity with government cutbacks and shutdowns.

    Then when investors complain that these corporate employees are wasting money on Lefty causes, the government will be brought in to protect employees from claims of defrauding investors.

    1. Taking sides in an emotional and controversial topic is bad for business, regardless of the topic.

    2. Businesses like abortion since it keeps their employees working and they don’t have to pay for parental leave due to a birth. its an evil reason on their part and should be called out for it.

    1. Aren’t most of these proglydyte clickbait sites essentially being propped up by SorosBux at this point?

  28. David Chavern, CEO of the News Media Alliance, told CNN that if publishersoil companies could come together to negotiate, they could pressure platformsconsumers with regard to not just economic arrangements between press and techoil and distribution companies but also sharing their customer data, their algorithms (or as Chavern calls them, “secret rules that change on a moment’s notice”), and control over which publicationsproducts they promote.

    How do you think they’d like THOSE apples?

    1. I enjoy taking polls and giving them bad info.
      I look forward to the Census where I will answer their questions in a most ridiculous way. If more people did this, it would drive the bean counters mad.

      1. While also making our government even more inept and useless than it already is. Yay?

  29. So cartels are cool when it’s legacy journalism?

  30. Congress wants to help broker better tech deal for Big Media. Today, members of the U.S. House of Representatives will “be hearing multiple pitches for a bill called the Journalism and Preservation Act,” pushed by “lobbyists for the newspaper industry,” CNN Business reports.

    And we tell ourselves that the VoxPocalypse, the 5000 word New York Times navel gazers on so-called New Media radicalization issues and the serial deplatforming of “alternative voices” is just a big coincidence.

    Just people doing stuff…

  31. Media Legislation? Plank 23 of 25 reads… “Newspapers which conflict with the common good are to be forbidden. We demand legal measures against any tendency in art and literature which has a subversive influence on the life of our people, and the closing down of any meetings or organizations which do not conform to those demands.” That was written by Hitler in 1920. ENB is turning out some really good investigative reporting.

  32. “Banks, tech firms, media companies, and fashion brands jointly signed a full-page ad in The New York Times, published Monday”

    …maybe these firms can focus on their businesses and not social issues. Just sayin’.

  33. “Making grifting simple again? “Trump-era grifting is unique in its shamelessness,” but Mitch “McConnell and his wife harken back to a simpler (and more enduring) time,” quips The Bulwark, reporting on the latest scandal involving Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.”

    Really hitting those relevant sites, are we Reason?

  34. “Congress Wants to Help Broker a Better Tech Deal for Big Media.

    Does this mean Joe’s Dry Cleaning Service will get a better deal from Congress too?

  35. why oh why would a platform pay you to promote your product?

    Are you deliberately ignoring the point that has been made several times that its the combination of the content that a media company provides + the sorting power of a search engine that provides value? Without quality content to serve up, google loses its business model, so the argument goes that google should pay some content creators a slice of the ad revenue it receives or stop posting links from those content creators.

    I don’t know if this is a good argument or not, but we shouldn’t just ignore it like the author did.

  36. “The War on Drugs has caused so much harm. It’s time to reverse it.”

    I’ll believe this control freak means it when she starts talking about getting rid of the FDA and DEA entirely. Until then she’s just another slaver.

  37. It was recorded by the equivalent tranny nut case that has been annoying him with claims for a while now.

    Note to this is what genuine badgering resembles, not mean words on Twitter.
    Visit: https://www.lawwriting.co.uk/

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