Kerry versus Free Speech: Sinclair Broadcasting & FEC

Another Exhibit A (let’s just retire the rest of the alphabet) on the anti-Constitutional evils of so-called campaign finance reform: the Kerry campaign’s attempt to get the FEC to shut down Sinclair Broadcasting’s plans to run a near-election-time Kerry-critical program on its broadcast outlets. (Both parties — this especially means you, McCain — sin in this area, I must admit.) A free country? Where a government can content-censor, and dissemination-block, advocacy regarding its personnel and conduct?

It is a complete absurdity. NAMBLA can publish advocacy to its depraved heart's content on why it is OK for children to be molested; Hollywood can show endless streams of blood and depravity to an unlimited monetary tune. But particpatory citizens cannot publicly advocate for or against a government official, or a wanna-be government official!? WHAT?!!

To those who say campaign finance reform regulates money and not speech, remember property rights are what makes the other rights tangible and real. (The Supreme Court has said this in so many words in a case maybe 10 years back whose name I do not recall). More concretely, if tomorrow the Congress passed a glorious resolution affirming watchblog.com's right to advocate any point of view, it might be nice. But if, in the next action, it said watchblog.com can entertain and advocate any position(s) it wants BUT it cannot spend money on a server, or only X amount as determined by interested incumbents, tell me again that the discretion to spend money isn't free speech.

Posted by Matthew Hogan at October 13, 2004 10:02 AM