The Washington Times quotes Wayne Crews on the traditional importance of deregulation in communications for conservative policy and how traditional media conglomerates are losing influence in the internet age.
The proposed AT&T merger with Time Warner has some conservatives nervous about its impact on free speech — namely theirs.
The prospect of another massive, left-tilting media conglomerate running both platforms and content — including Trump nemesis CNN — strikes trepidation in the hearts of right-wingers already feeling the squeeze from Google and Facebook.
“I think it’s pretty dangerous given that we’re looking at CNN being part of this merger,” said Rick Manning, president of Americans for Limited Government. “Consolidating CNN with DirecTV, which is in 26 million households, combined with the other outlets that exist in the context of that merger, you’re creating a pretty massive corporate profit motive for pushing eyeballs to CNN. And CNN has really ended any credibility they have as a news agency.”
At the same time, he said he would be opposed to the deal even if it didn’t mean increasing the clout of CNN.
“I’d still be against it because I think the single greatest challenge to the First Amendment is the consolidation of media,” Mr. Manning said. “In this modern world where speech is under attack on a daily basis from the left, when you consolidate media into mass corporate entities, they decide what’s valid speech and what’s not.”
Not all conservatives would agree. Wayne Crews, vice president for policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, said the right should stick to its free market guns.
“Conservatives should not be in the business of regulating the size of somebody’s microphone,” Mr. Crews said. “Conservatives are supposed to be in the business of saying, ‘Hey, especially in the internet age, everybody is a broadcaster on their own, and we can always create new microphones.’ And that’s exactly what we do.”
Read the full article at The Washington Times.