Friends, we better start opening our eyes because this nation is changing by the day and sadly many people are still unaware to what extent their freedoms are being stripped.
Yesterday, we just looked at another stunning example of censorship by the government in collusion with a media mogul. Today, I read something that has me even more fired up than before. Apparently, the Associated Press plans to crackdown on Bloggers. Seriously.
It was last year around this same time when we first heard about the plans the Associated Press had to charge bloggers (or others) for quoting AP articles.
The AP reported back then that persons wishing to quote their articles must get a license to do so, and even so may only quote up to FOUR WORDS for free. Using 5-25 words requires payment of $12.50, and thereafter a graded scale up to $100 for quoting 251 words or more.
Furthermore, the public is encouraged to report piracy, for prizes up to $1 million. Finally, if you do quote an AP article, you are expressly forbidden from criticizing the Associated Press (even if you pay them their fee!).
As the writer for TYWKIWDBI (the source of this story) quipped: "I'm trying to figure out how to express my opinion of the Associated Press in four words or fewer."
Exactly! Especially now that the issue appears to be coming up again at the same time the government is asking private citizens to report "fishy" individuals who are "promoting lies" about the National Health Care debate. The New York Times reported on new developments just this past week.
Here's a brief excerpt from that article:
Each article -- and, in the future, each picture and video -- would go out with what The A.P. called a digital "wrapper," data invisible to the ordinary consumer that is intended, among other things, to maximize its ranking in Internet searches. The software would also send signals back to The A.P., letting it track use of the article across the Web.
Where do I even begin? This is absolutely absurd. It's bad enough that the flow of information is controlled and filtered before being presented with a definite bias by a few big media conglomerates already (i.e. the nation's leading newspapers, the networks, as well as CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, etc.), but now The-Powers-That-Be recognize that the Internet has reduced their control and power so they're attempting to get some of it back by a misguided policy and program like this.
Cory Doctorow from BoingBoing wrote about this atrocious attack on the First Amendment just the other day, and I want to include his comments here because they're spot on:
The Associated Press -- which thinks you owe it a license fee if you quote more than four words from one of its articles -- doesn't even care if the words actually came from its article. They'll charge you anyway, even if you're quoting from the public domain.
I picked a random AP article and went to their "reuse options" site. Then, when they asked what I wanted to quote, I punched in Thomas Jefferson's famous argument against copyright. Their license fee: $12 for an educational 26-word quote. FROM THE PUBLIC FREAKING DOMAIN, and obviously, obviously not from the AP article. But the AP is too busy trying to squeeze the last few cents out of a dying business model to care about little things like free speech or the law.
Ben Parr from Mashable added:
The AP’s current plan is riddled with holes. Laws protecting fair use come into play and are essential to freedom of the press. The AP really needs to define their policy on fair use vs. reprinting. It also seems obvious that no small-scale publisher is going to pay $12.50 to quote a line from an article. when quoting and linking on the web are common practice.
This is just another prime example of why I truly believe that Bloggers are better -- and more professional -- than Journalists. Let me explain so that you don't think I'm being biased myself.
There's two things we need to keep in mind here. For one, I'm reminded of something I read late last year. Glenn Reynolds, of Instapundit fame, "heralds an era in which "[m]illions of Americans who were in awe of the punditocracy now realize that anyone can do this stuff." At the time, that seemed to upset a Mr. Paul Mulshine, in a WSJ editorial piece, who lamented: "No, they can't. Millions of American can't even pronounce 'pundit,' or spell it for that matter. On the Internet and on the other form of 'alternative media,' talk radio, a disliked pundit has roughly a 50-50 chance of being derided as a 'pundint,' if my eyes and ears are any indication."
He goes on to point out that it is "real journalists" that attend meetings, read through documents, and "analyze" things so they can inform the public of the news. Funny, we do the same thing but don't get paid a Salary to do so because this is a passion we have for the truth and not just a career or paycheck.
In a sense, Reynolds is right. If enough independent, lowly Bloggers with a good vocabulary were strewn out across America and were willing to attend local meetings and go through documents which now are usually all published online, then yes, old media can and will be replaced.
Sure, many times, we Bloggers find the news, paste important paragraphs, and give our opinions. If we were real "Journalists", writers would be calling that "analysis" instead of opinion. Other times Bloggers have been known to get their hands on PDF documents, produce them, go through them and show the blog reading public the portions of the reports that the major media "Journalists" -- the so-called "watchdog press" -- deliberately do not mention in their all important "analysis".
Heck, the current debate over National Health Care comes to mind as I've shared (along with many of you) links to sites run by other concerned citizens who (in their precious spare time) took the time to dissect the proposed Bill and actually note page-by-page, line-by-line all the cases of deception and "red flags" that were contained in that piece of legislation. I don't seem to recall any mainstream Journalists doing that, do you? That's precisely the point here!
Susan Duclos of Wake Up America had a stinging commentary that I think hits a homerun here:
Bloggers do give their opinions or analysis of any given situation, agreed, but bloggers do something that the professional journalists do not...we provide links to the original sources to which we use to determine our opinions and analysis.
We give our readers a chance to read the original reports, data, PDF's, court papers, whatever the case may be, then those readers can decide for themselves if they agree with our "analysis" or if they come to a different conclusion. We don't hide relevant facts to make the pieces match our preconceived ideas...we provide sources, we link.
Before I started blogging, I heard the news, read some online news articles, but found what I was getting was the writers opinion and when I looked for the original source to be able to form my own opinion, you know where I found the links to the original sources? Bloggers. Blogs. Before I even knew exactly what a blog was.
So, to Mr. Mulshine, a quick note...if journalists want to stay relevant, they need to stop thinking their opinion is the only opinion, they need to start providing links to the original sources and stop expecting people to take their word as the word of God.
Otherwise, those army of Davids, are definitely going to start reporting original pieces and they will be trusted more because they will provide something the old media, the mainstream media, refuse to...the facts to go along with a "journalist's" opinion.
Amen sister! That's exactly it! Bloggers and their blogs are an invaluable tool in this Age of Deception because they help us cut through all the BS (especially the politics of semantics) and verify conclusions and opinions for ourselves rather than taking them at face value. If the corporate media doesn't like it, then they should start to hire some of us instead of relying on the old guard.
So, in just a few short lines that WSJ Journalist gives us all the evidence we need to prove that Journalists today feel they are an elite class who have to "explain" the world to us through their eyes because we're simply too stupid to figure anything out for ourselves.
Are you surprised by all of this? You shouldn't be. Again, the hallmark of the prophesied One World Government led by the coming Antichrist will be a system of complete and total control -- over EVERYTHING! That certainly includes the freedom of speech and the exchange of ideas.
Plus, let's not forget that one of the most notorious individuals who promotes a New World Order admitted himself on camera that the Internet was a bad idea:
Jay Rockefeller "Internet Should Have Never Been Invented"
Gee, I wonder why he would say something like that?
I rest my case. Keep looking up.
More Government Censorship?
Associated Press Will Sell You A License To Quote The Public Domain
Quote 5 Words From the Associated Press? That’ll Be $12.50
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