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Sam Alito vs. The Ministry of Truth - Knight Stand
Wonders & Wanderings

Date: 2010-02-03 01:16
Subject: Sam Alito vs. The Ministry of Truth
Security: Public
Location:Newark DE
Music:"One Step Up", Bruce Springsteen
Tags:law, politics, writing
The recently decided McConnell v. FEC has been derided by Washington Post and NY Times pundits as crass hypocrisy on part of the US Supreme Court, with Justice Alito taking special heat as point man for the controversy for "dissing" The Man as he dispensed his Received Wisdom during the State of the Union Address.

My friend Ken this morning acted as the catalyst for my insight on this issue when he noted that the decision that overturned the reining in of corporate-sponsored political advertising was really irrelevant in the New World of Social Media. "You can't fake the funk anymore. You can't tell one crowd one story on what you'll tax and another audience another. Or even fake spontaneity. Look at Rudy Giuliani."

Now Ken's perfectly positioned to comment on this development. I've known him for nearly 20 years. He was a producer and reporter for the last independently all news/talk radio station in the United States before switching to the role of newsprint legislative reporter and Op-Ed editor for one of the two biggest papers in our State. After a few years at that he was hired as the State Communications Director for one of the two main political parties. He held that position through a few election cycles before returning to the private sector as the Marketing & Communications Director for a small biotech firm and has since became the "Social Media King" in Delaware, becoming one of the first in the local pharmatech industry to create viral videos, develop a corporate blog, Google Map the firm, and employ Twitter as marketing tool.

What? Everyone knows how to Twitter, you object.

Does **everyone** get a call from the Governor asking, "Hey, Ken, can you teach me to tweet, so I can reach out and get feedback better from the folks in the State?"

Yet I disagreed with Ken's assessment on the irrelevancy of McConnell. This is the man who had to formulate ad campaigns for candidates while hampered by the McCain-Feingold straitjacket.

"No, it's more relevant because of social media," I countered. "What prompted this decision?"

Ken had forgotten for the instant.

"It was the privately funded Hillary flick," I reminded him.

Light dawned. "That's riiight!"

With all the frothing from the liberal press [please, please do not challenge this categorization of the Washington Post or the NY Times -- it wears badly] about EVIL CORPORATIONS™ buying Congress in the wake of the Attila-the-Hun led SCOTUS ruling, one is apt to blank on a peculiar development in McCain-Feingold's application this last election cycle, Mister or Miz Blogger: the Ministry of Truth put a bounty on your head.

Forget big corporations -- not like those that own and operate the Post or Times, the other ones, the EVIL ones -- the FEC was stirring at the end of 2008 and over the last year to require financial disclosures for private citizen bloggers.

Now this effort was to root out "astroturfing", the creation of covertly corporate-backed grassroot campaigns, but the effort strikes at the heart of the long-tradition in America -- you there, Ben Franklin, here's a shout out! -- of the anonymous pamphleteer against tyranny [or less grandiose a target, idiocy in government].

However, you, my LiveJournal frere, lay in the cross-hairs. Very soon the huge Bureau of Internet Blogger Financial Certification was gearing up to knock on your door and require you to disclose any income sources or connections to a political party.

This is not a fantasy. It happened this past summer with online posters in support of the Tea Party. The Justice Department was investigating the danger of "extremist conservative factions".

The established media corporations, such as those owning the two above-mentioned papers, and their running-dog lackeys... er, reporters, were exempt from McCain-Feingold.

Fortunately for all of us LJ denizens, Sam Alito, strapping on his black cape, cowl, and utility belt, trumpeted the rallying cry, "Black-clad Constitution Defenders Assemble!"

The rest is living history.

Take that, O'Brien!


**Correction** -- The actual cite is Citizens United v FEC, revisit of the 2003 McConnell. Mea culpa.
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User: kengrant
Date: 2010-02-03 13:25 (UTC)
Subject: just to clarify...
In the interest of transparency - let me just set the record straight, the Governor never called me to ask how to twitter. And i applaud the Governor for engaging in social media.

Also, for those who are scratching their heads about not faking the funk - I would suggest you read Dave Burris' excellent explanation here - http://www.daveburris.com/you-cant-fake-the-funk/

Having said that, let me say this - we live in very interesting times and the tools available to us allow us to move ideas quickly and easily - I encourage all to utilize these tools to their fullest!
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User: jjbrannon
Date: 2010-02-03 14:31 (UTC)
Subject: Ooops! Updated cite
The actual case cited is Citizens United v FEC, which is a revisit of McConnell in 2003.

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User: jjbrannon
Date: 2010-02-06 01:14 (UTC)
Subject: Fear from the elite
In re my entry, I found this op-ed from the NY Times:


Sure, the Founders feared in Madison's term, mobocracy and factionalism, but encouraged citizen involvement beyond voting.

What this guy is saying is that only the elite's sanctioned opinions deserve attention and the change in technology's killing what Swift in Gulliver's Travels deemed the flapper function.

As Ken observes, social media's the game changer.

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