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Jewish World Review March 22, 2001 / 27 Adar, 5761

Ann Coulter

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Consumer Reports

The trillion-dollar loophole in 'campaign finance reform' -- IN a little-known section of the campaign finance laws, oil companies are completely exempted from spending restrictions. They alone can donate as much money as they see fit, directly to candidates, in thinly disguised "issue advertising," or coordinated expenditures. And spend they do. Year in, year out, oil companies lavish billions of dollars on advertisements promoting their pet politicians and sponsoring vicious negative attack ads on the politicians they oppose.

It is no accident that the very first bill taken up by the U.S. Senate would extend the oil companies' restrictive covenant prohibiting others from competing with these enormous, vile, polluting conglomerates. Except it's not really oil companies. The exemption is for a much more powerful, vile, polluting conglomerate known as the news media. Section 431(9)(B)(i) of the campaign finance laws wholly exempts from the definition of campaign expenditure: "any news story, commentary or editorial distributed through the facilities of any broadcasting station, newspaper, magazine or other periodical publication."

That's why the media love the McCain-Feingold bill. That's why "campaign finance reform" became the first order of business in the U.S. Senate this term. That's also why the suppression of political speech by anyone but the news media is popularly known as "reform" rather than "anti-competitive legislation protecting an industry cartel."

If campaign expenditures aren't "speech," why is an exception for the news media necessary?

There can be no meaningful reform of campaign finance laws until this completely undeserved monopoly granted by law to a single, repellant, self-serving industry is repealed. Strip the media of their exemption from the campaign finance laws under section 431(9)(B)(i). Then we'll see how enthusiastic they are about such genius McCain-Feingold "reforms" as banning any mention of a federal candidate for 60 days before an election.

More important, there can't even be meaningful debate of campaign finance laws until the Section 431(9)(B)(i) loophole is closed. In the past week, a hard-news item in The New York Times compared John McCain to Don Quixote ("the quixotic Arizona Republican tilts at the political money establishment"); Time magazine referred to McCain as "a chipper warrior," a man "who forgave the Vietnamese despite his captors' hanging him by his broken arms"; and the New York Daily News called McCain simply "the Vietnam War hero."

Liberals can never just make a principled argument. It has to be Bambi against Hitler.

Needless to say, with this sort of rigorous debate taking place in the adversary press, the arguments have been sharpened to a razor's edge. Sen. Joe Lieberman said the country needs campaign finance reform because the current system is "discouraging a lot of people from coming out and voting." Discouraging people from voting? Why not claim campaign finance reform will rescue the Nasdaq?

Even Bill Clinton's favorite journalist, Ron Brownstein of the Los Angeles Times (as Clinton told Brill's Content), described Lieberman's insane assertion as "a really hard argument to make." But Brownstein said "the larger point the senator made" -- that we need campaign finance reform -- "is correct."

That occurred on "CNN Sunday" in a program that presented a total of three opinions: Two from enthusiastic proponents of the McCain-Feingold bill and one from the guy who pronounced Lieberman's "larger point" -- buried within an idiocy -- "correct."

On the same day, ABC's "This Week" had precisely one guest on campaign finance reform. Guess which side he was on? Campaign finance "reform" advocate Warren Buffett was hammered with such tough questions from the adversary press as: "I love your analysis" and "So it's a shakedown?" Also that day, CBS' "Face the Nation" balanced two supporters of McCain-Feingold against yet another champion of campaign finance reform -- albeit not the McCain-Feingold bill.

Evidently, everyone supports the media's exalted role as the sole disseminators of political information. Everyone, that is, except a few self-serving and presumptively corrupt U.S. senators. (No Don Quixotes they.) Americans are clamoring for more restrictions on their speech. Stop us before we speak again!

A typical news report on McCain-Feingold stated that the defeat of the McCain-Feingold bill would preserve "a status quo that might frustrate Americans but serve politicians." The news report sadly continued that "despite the taint of scandal, the American people might not care enough to force change."

But deep down, according to the media, the "American people" support the media 100 percent!

Meanwhile, in endless polls of the long-suffering "American people," campaign finance reform has never ranked among their top 10 concerns. Taxes are always in the top 10. But the Senate isn't considering Bush's tax cut. It's spending two weeks on a special-interest bill to expand one industry's monopoly on information. At least if the oil companies were granted a monopoly by the government, the media would report it.

JWR contributor Ann Coulter is the author of High Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Case Against Bill Clinton. You may visit the Ann Coulter Fan Club by clicking here.


03/15/01: The liar is gone but the lying continues
03/08/01: More facts, fewer liberals
03/01/01: Mary Jo White-wash
02/22/01: How to talk to a liberal
02/15/01: Bill Clinton does the Harlem shuffle
02/08/01: Eight more Clarence Thomases
02/01/01: This just in: Price controls cause shortages
01/25/01: People United for Swindles and Hucksterism
01/18/01: Ashcroft and the blowhard discuss desegregation
01/04/01: Liberal pimps for Clintonism
01/02/01: Kwanzaa: Holiday from the FBI
12/28/00: If Americans support abortion, let's vote
12/26/00: Gore, him and her
12/21/00: Channeling Jackie O
12/14/00: My Court is bigger than your Court
12/11/00: HANG IN THERE, AL!
12/07/00: National Lampoon's Florida Supreme Court Vacation
12/04/00: It's past time for GOPers to quit being good at losing
11/30/00: Things only a Dem will say with a straight face
11/27/00: Certify the electors, then the judges
11/23/00: Kangaroo coup
11/20/00: This is what the Electoral College is supposed to prevent
11/16/00: The liar next time
11/09/00: JUST GO!
11/06/00: Hail Mary past
11/02/00: As the nose grows: The scripture according to Gore
10/30/00: Clinton sure can pick 'em
10/26/00: Gore's 'Nam flashbacks
10/23/00: Courting George Orwell
10/20/00: The three faces of Al
10/17/00: Must Christian conservatives be fascists?
10/13/00: Oil good; Dems bad
10/10/00: Al Gore: Serial fibber
10/06/00: Sigh of the crook
10/03/00: So who's the 'dumb guy' now?
09/29/00: Don't do drug legalization
09/26/00: I'd burn down my neighbor's house
09/22/00: Democrats worship the money shot
09/19/00: Other film footage we'd like to see
09/15/00: Bush can name the **^%*
09/12/00: The Supreme Court ratchet
09/08/00: Our mistake -- keep polluting
09/05/00: Bubba protects and serves
09/01/00: AlGore's 'going out of business!' tax plan
08/29/00: Bush's compassionate conservatism
08/25/00: Space alien tells funny jokes in bathtub
08/22/00: Dems view world only in black and white, not in color
08/18/00: Another Damascus Road conversion
08/15/00: The viagra cotillion
08/11/00: The hand-wringing Hamlet from Hartford
08/07/00: The Democratic party's white face
08/04/00: Hillary's potty mouth
08/01/00: The hole in the story
07/28/00: Cheney's detractors can't get their story straight
07/25/00: AlGore: Elmer Blandry
07/21/00: The tyranny of non-objectivity
07/18/00: The state's religion
07/14/00: Reform it back
07/11/00: Keating for veep
07/07/00: Gore invented 'Clueless'
07/04/00: The stupidity litmus test
06/30/00: O.J. was 'proved innocent' too
06/27/00: The last guys 'proved innocent'
06/23/00: Serious Republican candidates don't get serious press
06/19/00: They weren't overzealous this time
06/16/00: Evolution of the strumpet
06/13/00: Actual journalistic malpractice
06/09/00: I did not have sexual
relations with that ... man!
06/06/00: IRS turns Bubba's screw
05/30/00: Too corrupt to be an Arkansas lawyer
05/26/00: Choose liberalism
05/24/00: Violence against coherence
05/22/00: Developmentally disabled Republicans
05/16/00: For womb the bell tolls
05/12/00: Asylum from Georgetown
05/10/00: The truth is out there, even for the clueless
05/08/00: Barbie is a liberal Democrat
05/02/00: Moving the goalpost
04/28/00: The bastardization of justice
04/25/00: How Monica Lewinsky saved the constitution
04/24/00: It's sunny today, so we need gun control
04/19/00: No shadow of a doubt -- liberal women are worthless
04/14/00: It takes a Communist dictator to raise a child
04/11/00: The verdict is in on Hillary
04/07/00: Vast Concoctions III
04/04/00: 'Horrifying' free speech in New York
03/31/00: Check-Off Box For Pimp Suits
03/28/00: All the news that fits -- we print!
03/24/00: Net losses all around
03/20/00: To protect, serve --- and be spat on
03/16/00: Thank Heaven for the consigliere
03/13/00: Vast concoctions II
03/09/00: The bluebloods voted against you
03/07/00: The Tower of Babble
03/03/00: Vast concoction
03/02/00: Hillary's sartorial lies
02/28/00: You have to break a few eggs to make a joke
02/22/00: I've seen enough killing to support abortion
02/18/00: A liberal lynching
02/15/00: McCain and the flag
02/11/00: The Shakedown Express
02/08/00: To mock a mockingbird
02/05/00: Summing up Campaign 2000: 'Oh, puh-leeze!'
02/01/00: A Confederacy of Dunces
01/28/00: Dollar Bill's racist smear
01/24/00: How high is your freedom quotient?
01/21/00: Numismadness
01/18/00: How dare you attack my wife!
01/14/00: The Gore Buggernaut
01/10/00: The paradox of discrimination law

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