At CFIF, we’ve unceasingly highlighted the foundational role of intellectual property (IP) rights –…
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Trump Administration Stands Up for U.S. Copyright Protections Under Potential South African Threat

At CFIF, we’ve unceasingly highlighted the foundational role of intellectual property (IP) rights – patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets – in what we know as “American Exceptionalism.”

No nation matches our legacy of IP protection throughout the decades and centuries.  Our Founding Fathers specifically inserted IP protections in Article I of the Constitution, even before the First Amendment or other Bill of Rights protections.

As a direct result no nation in human history remotely matches our legacy of scientific inventiveness, artistic innovation, global influence, power and prosperity.

And today, IP-centric industries account for about 40% of the total U.S. economy, and 45 million jobs – nearly 30% of the U.S. labor force.  For perspective, that U.S. IP…[more]

March 24, 2020 • 02:25 pm

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Trust in Media at Record Low, and Sleazy Washington Post "Fact Check" Against Carly Fiorina Shows Why Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, October 01 2015
In addition to helping explain why trust in media has plummeted in America, this latest episode demonstrates why so-called 'campaign finance reform' laws like McCain-Feingold are so dangerous.

Americans' sense of confidence in the media has plummeted to a record low. 

To understand why, look no further than a recent "fact check" in The Washington Post that can only be described as a sleazy partisan hit piece against 2016 Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina. 

This week, Gallup released a new survey that asked, "In general, how much trust and confidence do you have in the mass media - such as newspapers, TV and radio - when it comes to reporting the news fully, accurately and fairly - a great deal, a fair amount or none at all?"  Only 40% responded "a great deal" or "a fair amount," compared to a record 60% that responded "not very much" or "none at all." 

To place that in perspective, as recently as 2003, 55% of Americans held a great deal or fair amount of trust in media, as did 54% in 2003 and 50% in 2005.  Also by comparison, 72% of Americans still place "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of trust in the U.S. military, 67% in small business and 52% in the police. 

Such factors as transparent liberal bias, Dan Rather's false documents slurring George W. Bush's military record and the fabrications of NBC's Brian Williams have helped erode media trust in a remarkably short period. 

Unfortunately, The Washington Post attack on Fiorina demonstrates that the problem persists. 

It all started last week when the Post's "Fact Checker" Michelle Ye Hee Lee decided to test Fiorina's "secretary to CEO" biographical claim.  Specifically, Ms. Lee examined Fiorina's comment during the September 16 Republican debate that, "My story, from secretary to CEO, is only possible in this nation, and proves that every one of us has potential," as well as her comment on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" that, "I started as a secretary, typing and filing for a nine-person real estate firm.  It's only in this country that you can go from being a secretary to chief executive of the largest tech company in the world, and run for president of the United States." 

Ms. Lee's "Fact Checker" proceeds over the ensuing 19 paragraphs to confirm Fiorina's career trajectory, during which she held not one, but several, receptionist and secretarial jobs.  Despite that, Ms. Lee gives Fiorina "Three Pinocchios" (out of a possible four) in her "Pinocchio Test." 

Why?  Because Ms. Lee concludes that Fiorina's upbringing was excessively privileged: 

"Her father was dean of Duke Law School when she was at Stanford, meaning Duke would have paid for most of her college tuition.  She graduated from Stanford, and her elite degree played a role in the stories of her at Marcus & Millichap (she was the 'Stanford student') and her convincing the business school dean to accept her into the MBA program ('So, can a liberal arts student from Stanford compete with the analytical jocks you have around here?').  She worked briefly as a secretary in between law school and business school, but she always intended to attend graduate school for her career...  As such, she earns Three Pinocchios." 

So "Fact Checker" Ms. Lee confirms that Fiorina's story is 100% correct, but nevertheless labels it dishonest. 

That amounts to a despicable hit piece against a Republican (of course) candidate ascending in current polls and threatening liberals' tired "War on Women" slur against conservatives.  Ms. Lee fully deserves the harsh blowback that her column received, which she acknowledges and attempts to rationalize in an updated version of her piece.  Unfortunately, she only exacerbates the problem by attempting to say "Fact Checker" treated Barack Obama to the same subjective scrutiny for a 2012 campaign commercial reciting his mother's fight with an insurance company. 

There's just one enormous and distinguishing problem with that comparison.  Obama's commercial actually contained questionable factual assertions, if not outright falsehoods.  The same cannot be said of Fiorina, as Ms. Lee's own lengthy factual setup acknowledges. 

In addition to helping explain why trust in media has plummeted in America, this latest episode demonstrates why so-called "campaign finance reform" laws like McCain-Feingold are so dangerous. 

Namely, such laws serve to limit private citizens' First Amendment right to engage in free political speech, and to express their views about candidates and issues.  In so doing, such laws necessarily magnify and centralize the power of mainstream media.  After all, by restricting private citizens' participation in the marketplace of ideas, those laws grant even greater prominence to liberal mainstream media organizations like NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, The New York Times and The Washington Post that remain exempt from such campaign finance laws (even though they're also "corporations"). 

In other words, campaign finance laws like McCain-Feingold elevate people like Dan Rather and the Post's Ms. Lee, while stifling the voices of private citizens. 

That not only violates the text and spirit of the First Amendment, it only encourages liberal hit pieces like Ms. Lee's fraudulent "Fact Checker."  That's not an option that Americans can tolerate. 

Question of the Week   
In which one of the following years did Congress first meet in Washington, D.C.?
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Quote of the Day   
"As if the world isn't crazy enough, some extremists want more crazy -- namely a falling out between President Trump and Dr. Anthony Fauci.The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Fauci is the country's No. 1 immunologist and has advised six presidents in times of trouble.So the anti-Trump obsessives are all but praying for the president to can him, and so justify…[more]
—New York Post Editorial Board
— New York Post Editorial Board
Liberty Poll   

Who is most to blame for the delay in passage of the critical coronavirus economic recovery (or stimulus) bill?