The First Amendment prohibits Congress from passing any legislation abridging freedom of speech or the press or prohibiting the free exercise of religion.
But what if free speech, the press and the free exercise of religion were attacked by some other powerful entities – instituting speech codes, mandating insidious forms of “political correctness,” discriminating against certain religious beliefs and extending the reach of only approved press outlets at the expense of independent voices?
Well, all that is happening – right out in plain view. And, so far, Congress hasn’t really noticed. Neither has the Supreme Court. And, even President Trump, who uses his bully Twitter storms to great effectiveness, doesn’t seem to recognize the existential, real-word, back-door threat to the First Amendment posed by the most powerful corporate media and utility cartel in America.
I’m talking about the risk posed to open, unimpeded and meaningful communications in the U.S. by Google, Facebook, YouTube and Amazon – monopolistic companies very much in need of some government scrutiny and oversight if America’s heritage of freedom is to survive for another generation.
I’m not overstating the case.
There was a time not long ago when the federal government concerned itself with matters like media cross-ownership rules in major markets that might control the free flow of information and debate in one city or another. It seemed like it was important to keep competition among media companies vibrant so many different voices and points of view could be heard, viewed and read.
Today, the situation has radically changed. Companies like Google, Facebook, YouTube and Amazon all think alike and control the most pervasive form of media the world has ever known – digital communications.
If these companies don’t like certain viewpoints, they can be and will be stifled with very little possibility of redress of grievances. At least three of the four employ a heavy-handed, radical, left-wing, unaccountable, politically and religiously motivated speech cop, the Southern Poverty Law Center, to help them keep opposing viewpoints from getting any visibility or attention. Speech codes, on a national and international scale, are being imposed. Political and religious blacklists are being employed. While you can still get on a soapbox on a street corner in America and say what you want, access to the real means of communication is denied on the basis of political and religious speech.
Google and Facebook alone control 75 percent of the digital advertising market, which has eclipsed the total advertising market for television in America. And we’ve seen countless examples of the way Google and Facebook use their overwhelming control of that market to deny systematically revenue, traffic and access to dissenting digital voices, the independent media and mainstream evangelical viewpoints.
Effectively, this is transforming free speech in America to something resembling the tragically controlled state of what we see on many, if not most, college campuses.
There’s an uprising against this trend, but it’s not organized. Citizens are largely deprived of the facts because this cartel controls the flow of information on a macro-scale. I might as well be walking up and down the street wearing a sandwich board proclaiming, “The end is near,” in writing this message to you today.
But the hour is late. While the deep state investigates Russian collusion and intervention in our election process, something far more dangerous is taking place in the U.S. today. There may never be another free and fair election in America if something is not done to limit the power of this new media-utility cartel represented by Google-Facebook-YouTube-Amazon.
Is anyone listening? Can you hear me now? Is the message getting out? Does anyone care? What can be done? Do you not see the threat? Do you not recognize the danger?
In the weeks ahead, I will be blowing whistle on these outrages and hoping others, especially freedom-loving Washington officials, raise their voices of concern and outrage.