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Daily Democracy

Ryan Blethen discusses the press, media and democracy. Daily Democracy is part of the Democracy Papers, a series of articles, essays and editorial opinion examining threats to our freedoms of speech and the press.

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April 22, 2008 8:36 AM

Commerce hearing: Christian Coalition

Posted by Ryan Blethen

Michele Combs VP of Communications for the Christian Coalition is now testifying in favor of net neutrality. She says the coalition does not want network providers "snooping" around. She pointed out that the recent dust-up with Comcast began when it blocked the downloading of the King James Bible.

Combs is now comparing the tools used by network providers to block content as the same used by the Chinese government to block the Christian Coalition in China.

Net neutrality is another of those issues like media consolidation that brings together groups that normally do not find common ground. Democrats seem to naturally gravitate toward the need for an independent media and an open Internet. It has mystified me why so many Republican lawmakers do not agree with many conservative groups.

I have interviewed Christian broadcasters who are opposed to media consolidation. Yet it is an uphill battle to get a majority of Republicans on board to limit consolidation. The ones that do get it, like our own Rep. Dave Reichert and Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, both from Maine, have been great.

The threat of a few companies controlling the press and the Internet is a real to everybody no matter their political allegiances. Groups like the Christian Coalition get it. So should Senators like Senators like Gordon Smith, Sununu, Ensign, and Stevens.

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