Friday, May 08, 2009
Cyberbullying Bill Not About Protecting Kids, It is About Shutting Down the Opposition
May 7, 2009
Arianna Huffington, the liberal darling in bed with the globalist George Soros by way of the Bermuda-based Atlantic Philanthropies, has posted an article on her website penned by Rep. Linda Sánchez, the Democrat congress critter from California. Sánchez is behind the so-called Megan Meier Cyberbullying Prevention Act, an effort to impose draconian regulations on the internet.
California Democrat Linda Sanchez
Megan Meier, a thirteen year old from Dardenne Prairie, Missouri, killed herself in response to “cyberbullying” on MySpace. It later came out that Megan was harassed by Lori Drew, the mother of a former friend. A federal grand jury indicted Drew on May 15, 2008, on three counts of accessing protected computers without authorization to obtain information to inflict emotional distress, and one count of criminal conspiracy. She was found guilty on three lesser charges.
For Sánchez and the co-sponsors of this bill the conviction is not enough. They want the full coercive weight of the government behind a law that will punish people for the crime of “cyberbullying” on the internet.
“When so-called child’s play turns hostile and a child becomes a victim, it is time to act,” writes Sánchez on Huffpo. “When so-called free speech leads to bullies having free-reign to threaten kids, it is time to act. The Supreme Court recognizes that in some instances words can be harmful. For example, you cannot falsely yell ‘FIRE’ in a crowded theater. If you say it even once you can be held liable. Yet, you can repeatedly emotionally abuse someone with words, pictures, and false impressions online and get away scot-free.”
On April 30, law professor and blogger Eugene Volokh addressed the draconian nature of Sánchez’s bill. Volokh underscores the following language contained in the bill:
Whoever transmits in interstate or foreign commerce any communication, with the intent to coerce, intimidate, harass, or cause substantial emotional distress to a person, using electronic means to support severe, repeated, and hostile behavior, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both….
["Communication"] means the electronic transmission, between or among points specified by the user, of information of the user’s choosing, without change in the form or content of the information as sent and received; …
["Electronic means"] means any equipment dependent on electrical power to access an information service, including email, instant messaging, blogs, websites, telephones, and text messages.
Volokh proposes a couple hypothetical situations in regard to the language in the bill:
I try to coerce a politician into voting a particular way, by repeatedly blogging (using a hostile tone) about what a hypocrite / campaign promise breaker / fool / etc. he would be if he voted the other way. I am transmitting in interstate commerce a communication with the intent to coerce using electronic means (a blog) “to support severe, repeated, and hostile behavior” — unless, of course, my statements aren’t seen as “severe,” a term that is entirely undefined and unclear. Result: I am a felon, unless somehow my “behavior” isn’t “severe.”
A newspaper reporter or editorialist tries to do the same, in columns that are posted on the newspaper’s Web site. Result: Felony, unless somehow my “behavior” isn’t severe.
“The examples could be multiplied pretty much indefinitely,” writes Volokh. “The law, if enacted, would clearly be facially overboard (and probably unconstitutionally vague), and would thus be struck down on its face under the First Amendment. But beyond that, surely even the law’s supporters don’t really want to cover all this speech.”
It is less than clear supporters of the bill “don’t really want to cover all this speech.”
Obama Democrats are busy at work formulating “diversity of ownership” rules at the Federal Communications Commission, considered by opponents to be a back-door effort to revive the so-called Fairness Doctrine. “The left has reached the conclusion that the political price to pay for reinstating the Fairness Doctrine is too high, so now they’re looking at these new means,” Seton Motley, director of communications for the Media Research Center, told Fox News earlier this week. The current chairman of the committee, Henry Rivera, has been singled out for his past support of the measure when he was a commissioner of the FCC from 1981-1985. The doctrine died in 1987, only after Rivera left the FCC.
Democrats and their liberal partisans have repeatedly called for their opponents to be silenced by the government. A rather blatant example of this occurred after Richard Poplawski killed Pittsburgh police officers in April. Daily Kos, Media Matters, and other liberal partisan outlets, orchestrated by the ADL and the Southern Poverty Law Center, launched a virulent campaign attempting to link Alex Jones to the deranged killer. They argued that “rightwing conspiracy theories” led directly to violence and the murder of cops.
Steve Rendall, FAIR’s senior analyst, notes “that over-the-air broadcasting remains the most powerful force affecting public opinion” and declares “broadcasters ought to be insuring that they inform the public, not inflame them. That’s why we need a Fairness Doctrine. It’s not a universal solution. It’s not a substitute for reform or for diversity of ownership. It’s simply a mechanism to address the most extreme kinds of broadcast abuse.” FAIR, short for Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, is funded by the Rockefeller Family Fund, the MacArthur Foundation, the Schumann Foundation, and the Ford Foundation, so we can assume they influence the sort of “diversity of ownership” pushed by FAIR.
The Megan Meier Cyberbullying Prevention Act has nothing to do with protecting children. It is all about whittling away the First Amendment and tricking Democrats and so-called “progressives” into supporting tyranny. Obama’s packing of the FCC with “diversity” activists has nothing to do with making sure minorities have a say in local media dominated by mega-corporations certainly not interested in genuine diversity. It is about making sure alternative media is not only hobbled and fearful — under penalty of law — of hurting the feelings of protected minorities or school children on MySpace without adult supervision. It is about shutting down all opposition.