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Ted Cruz Reportedly Folds to Democrats on Media Cartel Bill


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“Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has caved to the Democrats on legislation that would allow media organizations to create formal cartels to negotiate with Big Tech companies, several congressional aides and others familiar with the process told Breitbart News on Wednesday,” Breitbart reports.

“If Cruz goes forward with his plans to back—and allow the senate to advance—the legislation, then he will immediately become one of the biggest enablers of the establishment media and Big Tech giants and he could seriously jeopardize his political future,” the outlet adds.

More info from Breitbart:

Cruz, who had previously jammed up a committee markup on the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) a few weeks ago, has now decided to give Klobuchar what she wanted and allow the Democrat proposal to proceed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee to eventually be considered by the full U.S. Senate.

Several aides on both sides of the JCPA fight familiar with the matter told Breitbart News on Wednesday that Cruz caved to Klobuchar and has agreed to changes to language he offered in an amendment to allow the bill to advance. When questioned repeatedly about it on Wednesday, Cruz’s office did not deny these aides’ characterization.

Cruz himself has not replied to inquiries from Breitbart News sent over text directly to the senator. Several Cruz staffers have refused to answer whether he cut a deal with Klobuchar, and they have refused to make the senator available for an interview to explain himself.

A Cruz spokesperson would only provide, when asked detailed and serious questions about the possibility of a deal and what form the deal would take, a generic statement claiming that Cruz opposes censorship of conservatives–something that would be inherently untrue if he votes for or simply even just enables Senate consideration of this legislation.

The Hill wrote:

A bill that would let most news outlets collectively negotiate with dominant tech platforms for compensation to distribute their content advanced out of a Senate committee Thursday after Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) struck a deal.

The Journalism Competition and Protection Act aims to help local and smaller news outlets negotiate by leveling the playing field with tech giants like Google and Facebook.

Thursday’s vote to advance the bill followed two weeks of negotiations between Klobuchar and Cruz after the Democrat pulled a vote on her bill at a markup earlier this month.

The bill was pulled after an amendment from Cruz about content moderation was adopted when Democrats were down a member with Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) isolating in India with COVID-19.

cont.

Cruz initially put forward an amendment that sought to eliminate the antitrust exemption if either side in negotiations mentions content moderation, building off accusations that tech giants are censoring conservative content.

But Klobuchar said that amendment would essentially give tech platforms a “get out of jail free card” by allowing them to bring up content moderation at the outset of a negotiation to avoid reaching a deal.

The amended version that passed Thursday includes text that says the negotiations shall be conducted “solely to reach an agreement regarding the pricing, terms and conditions” and should not address how platforms display, rank or distribute content.



 

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