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Sen. Bennet's amendments to the First Amendment

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet's strident calls for campaign finance restrictions, contrasted with his prodigious fundraising (nearly $5 million, by one count), explains part of his credibility problem with Coloradans. Taking donations hand over fist and then trying to limit some donors sounds like, "Fine for me, but not for thee."

Speaking of free speech, what does the appointed senator think about the 24/7 media environment in which public policy is debated? Not much, it turns out.

"One of the thing that we need to recognize is that I think we lost something [from] when most of us got our news from Walter Cronkite. Or, you know, from somebody that we all had to watch and we made up our mind about," Bennet said during a town hall meeting Jan. 7 in Highlands Ranch.

"It's very interesting when you look at what's happened to the media environment. Because now, I mean, it could have been and it may still be, this great democratization of information, right, that's going out on the Internet. And everybody can have access to everything. That could end up being very powerful, it really could.

"At the moment, what is happening, I think, is that we each can find our own echo chamber where everybody agrees with whatever it is we imagine to be true. And because there's just so much of it on TV and in the blogs and everything else - which is not to say there aren't good blogs or good TV - but there's so much of it that so much of the conversation is about process; because you can't talk about...The substance doesn't change enough for that to be a story, you know, in real time."

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