cr> a novel theory re: CDA politics


Richard Moore

Date: Mon, 26 Feb 1996
Sender: Mark Stahlman (via RadioMail) <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Was The "Indecency" Controversy Staged?


On Friday at the TED Conference in Monterey, Nicholas Negroponte of MIT's
Media Lab, dropped a significant fact on the stage in front of the audience
of 500 -- the decision to switch votes at the last minute by two liberal
Democrats (Schroeder and Conyers) was reached at an as yet unreported
Democrat "caucus" with the intent of embarassing legislating moralists and
throwing the issue into the courts for eventual positive resolution.  He
said, "They wanted to pass something that was as absurd as possible and
that was clearly unconstitutional."

According to sources reached over the weekend, there was little doubt by
many involved in the conference committee that the otherwise oddly reversed
votes on the bill's First Amendment language was not spontaneous and not
explained by the statements which flowed from the Congresspeople's offices.

They stressed the relevance of the Presidential election and the prominence
being achieved by Newt Gingrich late in 1995 -- stealing thunder from rival
cyber-pol Al Gore.  They focussed on the desire to force the Republicans to
be tarred-and-feathered with the Christian Right brush is a priority tactic
in an increasingly hot campaign season.  The feeling is that without Ralph
Reed's support, no Republican can be nominated.  Then in the election the
association with the Christian Coalition -- especially in the crucial
electoral state of California -- could be turned against the Republicans on
the Net.

They hypothesize that the severe reaction against the CDA online was
completely predictable as would be the resulting anti-Republican voting
bias on the Net in November.  This is simply another in a series of moves
to manipulate public opinion by harnessing the Internet's general naivete
about the political process, they concluded.

Reached after his speech and asked if reviving the fortunes of flagging
cyber civil-rights organizations with fresh volunteers and righteous
contributions might also figure in here, Negroponte said, grinning, "Gee,
that's even more cynical than I would have thought."

On an chillingly related note, according to Antony Lewis' column in today's
New York Times, Buchanan's "platform" includes the provision that Supreme
Court decisions become subject to binding nation referenda.  Interpreting
the Constitution would become a majoritarian circus.  Stay tuned; more
madness to follow.

Mark Stahlman
New Media Associates
New York City


Date: Mon, 26 Feb 1996
Sender: Arthur Richard Brodsky <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: Was The "Indecency" Controversy Staged?

I heard you mention this "secret" caucus on the radio.  I covered this
bill very closely for Communications Daily.  While it's possible I
didn't get everything, I never heard about such a meeting.  I know
why Schroeder voted why she did in the conference, and it wasn't
to embarrass anyone.  And Conyers people later told me he
regretted his vote in the closed conference meeting where the
vote took place -- not something that someone intent on a
cynical manipulation of the system would do.


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