Such an agency “would have to be an independent federal agency that no president could countermand or anything else because people wouldn’t think you were just censoring the news and giving a different falsehood out.”
No, that’s not Russia’s Vladimir Putin or Chinese President Hu Jintao making that absurd suggestion. That one came from former President Bill Clinton, the man who lied to the American public about his affair with Monica Lewinsky. If such an agency would have been in existence during his tenure, you have to think he would have been convicted during his impeachment trial in the Senate for sure.
A truth ministry would operate something like the BBC or perhaps National Public Radio (no bias there), Clinton said, and its scope would be narrowly defined to “not express opinions” and to identify “relevant factual errors.” Clinton, of course, does not go on to say who gets to define what a “factual error” is, but we presume it would be the commies who run this agency.
Clinton’s call for this new federal agency comes on the heels of similar rantings by a man named Cass Sunstein, the Obama administration’s info-czar, who all Web sites should be forced to link to opposing viewpoints or contain pop-ups filled with government information.
George Orwell must be laughing in his grave; our founding fathers must be rolling over in theirs.
No doubt part of Clinton’s angst about the internet is the fact that it was an early internet entrepreneur – Matt Drudge, founder of DrudgeReport.com – who broke the story about the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal after Newsweek refused to run it.
Clinton’s “suggestion” that Congress move to regulate the internet builds on that same common theme shared among other members of our Legislative branch, as well as the Federal Communications Commission. In April House Republicans led the effort in passing legislation aimed at preventing the FCC from imposing so-called “net neutrality” regulations on the World Wide Web that opposing lawmakers said would give the agency immense censorship power.
“The FCC power grab would allow it to regulate any interstate communication service on barely more than a whim and without any additional input from Congress,” said Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore.
The call to regulate the internet is no different than other calls to limit free speech, such as the establishment of “protest zones” on college campuses, public streets and in other venues. When the “fairness” angle hasn’t polled well, other lawmakers have resorted to calling for internet regulation based on “national security concerns.”
It was Thomas Jefferson, the father of the U.S. Constitution and third president of the United States, who once said, “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.” Clinton’s call for a dictatorial info-suppression agency, with support from some U.S. lawmakers and the federal agency charged with guarding free speech, means Americans had better keep their heads in the game if they want to continue to experience the freedom the internet helps guarantee.