And so it begins. . .

For some time now, this writer has been waiting for the assault on blogging to begin. It was an obvious target, given the new voice blogging has provided the conservative mindset; a voice almost completely disenfranchised, up until this point, by the left-leaning MSM.

So it was only a matter of time before those who wanted us all thrust back into silence found their first potentially viable avenue of attack.

And so it has begun:

Bradley Smith says that the freewheeling days of political blogging and online punditry are over. In just a few months, he warns, bloggers and news organizations could risk the wrath of the federal government if they improperly link to a campaign's Web site. Even forwarding a political candidate's press release to a mailing list, depending on the details, could be punished by fines.
Read the article in full, in order to get a better idea of where this is coming from and what the initial impact may be. In short, however, here’s the sum:

The judge's decision is in no way limited to ads . . . any coordinated activity over the Internet would need to be regulated, as a minimum.
It's called death by bureaucracy. A pretty cute angle, really.

Read more about it here:

The possibilities that [FEC commissioner Bradley] Smith lays out are chilling and, if enacted, could spell the end of blogging as we know it. Indeed, it could turn much of what is published on the Net into a samizdat-style activity. Sound alarmist? Read on. It all stems, of course, from McCain-Feingold, the absurd and (pace the Supreme Court) unconstitutional curtailment of political speech in violation of the First Amendment. Both Senators, and the Democratic members of the Commission, favor regulating political speech on the Internet, lest bloggers and electronic publications enjoy an advantage over print publications. This is a huge power grab by elements of the federal bureaucracy who are threatened by New Media, and a first step by those forces to shut down political speech they don't like.
And bingo. . .

Regardless to say, this blatant attack on long-held and hard-fought democratic rights must be fought tooth and nail. We will hear that the tragedy (or stupidity, given the Commission's three Democratic appointees are driving this rubbish) is that this will impact the lefty bloggers every bit as much as it will their conservative counterparts. But this is a red-herring of course. The very influence enjoyed by the conservative bloggers makes them the primary target, and for a very simple reason: the left already have the MSM to push their views. All the conservatives have, that even comes close to a match, is the blogs.

And those behind this move know it all too well. . .

A big hat tip to Keith for the links.

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