Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, was blasted by Breitbart News and other conservative outlets over his support for the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA).
Breitbart has criticized the bill because it allows mainstream “media companies to form a legal cartel in the U.S., for the sole purpose of pressuring tech companies for special favors.”
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The conservative site blasted Cruz’s move, and said it rescued the controversial act “from the jaws of legislative death.”
“Let me commend the authors of this bill for the hard work they put in on an important issue,” Cruz said, siding with Democrats like Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar.
“I’ve had extensive conversations with Senator Klobuchar, and sat down and heard her concerns, and we worked together on this amendment,” said Cruz.
“We actually share the view that this is not about content. This is about negotiating prices,” Klobuchar said about the bipartisan actions to pass the bill through the Senate Judiciary Committee.
She defended the bill and said it will “allow local news organizations to get compensation when major titans, monopolies, like Facebook and Google, access their content. It wasn’t about facilitating negotiations about content.”
Other Republican senators took a stand against the bill, including Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, who said he was “a little bit confused by the sponsors’ support for the amendment.”
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“I applaud anything that restricts censorship by Big Tech,” he said, but worried the JCPA will backfire and help large, mainstream media organizations at the expense of small media companies and local news.
“The bill retains the fundamental flaw of attempting to improve competition by sanctioning the formation of cartels,” Lee warned. “Something that our antitrust laws go out of their way to prohibit.”
Tech companies also opposed the bill.
“Exempting newspapers from antitrust laws will incentivize them to collude in order to control legitimate news and diminish competition. In an effort to prop-up traditional media, Congress forgets that Americans have more sources of news and views than ever before–because of the internet,” Jennifer Huddleston said in a statement on behalf of the Big Tech group Net Choice.
“Traditional media is increasingly woke and progressive, so we’re disappointed to see Republicans support this bill.”
The Horn editorial team