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Media exemption for bloggers

In response to John Bambenek’s complaint that Daily Kos “operate[s] as a political committee and are therefore subject to FEC rules“, the US Federal Election Commission ruled that they qualify as a media entity.  As Adam B wrote

Vacation’s over, and the FEC has unanimously determined that DailyKos qualifies as a media entity under federal law, and thus none of the site’s expenditures count under federal law for determining whether a political committee was formed.  Just like a newspaper isn’t charged with making a campaign contribution by editorializing on behalf of a candidate, neither is this site:

Adam B goes on the quote from the FEC ruling.  Perhaps the most important bit is:

In addition, Kos Media’s creation and distribution of the DailyKos falls within the scope of the exemption. First, the complaint does not allege, nor does publicly available information indicate, that Kos Media is owned or controlled by a political party, committee, or candidate. Second, by creating and distributing the DailyKos, containing news stones with links to “breaking news,” original political commentary and calls to actions akin to editorials, Kos Media is acting within its legitimate press function that qualifies it as a press entity. As such, Kos Media’s creation and distribution of the DailyKos falls within Kos Media’s legitimate press. function. Moreover, Kos Media’s operation of DailyKos is the type of activity contemplated by the Commission during its rulemaking regarding the media exemption….

This is extremely good news for bloggers, although I really don’t see how Bambenek’s complaint would have worked.  If something like dKos could be counted as a “political committee” and was therefore subject to FEC rules, what would be the threshold for being considered a political committee?  How many times could you criticise the Bush administration before having to register as a PAC?  (Yeah, I realise, Bambenek is probably talking about the fact that Markos has called dKos a “Democratic” site.)  Anyway, it’s good to see this ruling, since it clarifies the “media exemption”.  So can I start calling myself a journalist? 🙂


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