|Can't See 'Em . . . |
But I Think His Thumbs Are Down
(photo from kelo.com)
Thune takes a different view. His sternly worded letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg politely asks Zuckerberg to "please provide responses" to a list of questions about the structural and editorial aspects of the "Trending Topics" section, then peremptorily sets a May 24 deadline for a response, which apparently is meant to take place before Thune's Senate Commerce Committee. Thune says in his letter that the committee has "oversight authority" in the matter.
Actually, I think this is bunk. First off, I'd like to see where Thune's committee has any "oversight authority" when it comes to monitoring news content to begin with. He himself led the charge to remove the "fairness doctrine" from broadcast communications in 2007. Writing about the measure in a RealClearPolitics op-ed, Thune said, "I will do my part to insure speech remains free and that Americans can continue to debate the issues of the day through our diverse forms of media in a free and open manner." Kudos for those sentiments, Senator Thune, but how do they square with
|The Constant Commoner . . . |
Meantime, Thune's quick assertion of federal authority is amazingly at odds with his general stance against government overreach. If you Google "John Thune government overreach," you will get countless pages of articles in which the senator utters the phrase "government overreach" to criticize legislative actions on fronts as diverse as energy policy, waterways management, Supreme Court nominees and healthcare--and that's just on the first Google page. Now all of a sudden Thune wants to extend the government's reach to a website and how it develops and disseminates its news content? It makes no sense. Thune should drop this silly idea posthaste.