Sorry, Net Neutrality Simply Was Not An Important Issue In This Year's Election

from the making-nothing-out-of-nothing dept

This one is just amusing. Scott Cleland, who works for the big broadband companies as a professional propagandist, and has a long history of making absolutely ridiculous claims in order to support their positions, apparently got a bit of traction from the non-thinking press, after he started pushing the message that all of the Democrats who signed a "pledge" to support network neutrality from the group the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) lost in the recent election. So, suddenly, it sounds like a referendum on net neutrality with the people saying they're against it. Verizon was so excited about this that it even Tweeted about it and various folks in the press parroted the claim without really looking into the details. Even CNN wrote an article about it, suggesting this was the "final nail in the coffin for net neutrality."

While I doubt any net neutrality legislation is going to get passed anyway (and, that's a good thing, because after the telcos got done with it, it wouldn't be what you wanted anyway), to suggest in any way that this election was a referendum on net neutrality is pure folly. What the "press" left out is that the PCCC's net neutrality pledge was hardly the only such thing out there. Also, the PCCC pledges were not from existing Representatives, but those trying to get elected to Congress against incumbents -- and nearly every one came from historically Republican districts. In other words, nearly every one of those Democrats who "lost," were guaranteed to lose no matter what. On top of that, Broadband Reports took a look at a couple of other "net neutrality" pledges by folks actually in Congress, and noted that a bunch of Democratic Representatives who signed an anti-Net Neutrality pledge still lost their races, and of those who signed on to a pro-net neutrality list, not a single Democrat on that list lost their re-election bid. So, uh, it sorta suggests that a politician's stance on net neutrality had nothing to do with this election, and if you want to make up fake headlines that don't really mean anything, why would the press not mention any of the relevant facts, and simply parrot the fake story by a guy paid for propaganda?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2010 @ 1:17pm

    "Even" CNN? Are you actually surprised that CNN is churning out terrible stories? That's all they do anymore.

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Nov 5th, 2010 @ 1:20pm

    "why would the press not mention any of the relevant facts, and simply parrot the fake story by a guy paid for propaganda?"

    Simple the internet scares everyone in power. I mean we can't have people with access to education we don't control, to our every secret, give them the ability to communicate in secret, to openly mock us, to create disruptions in our business models. I mean that would be madness!!!!

     

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      :Lobo Santo (profile), Nov 5th, 2010 @ 1:39pm

      Re:

      Yay madness!

      ; P

       

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      abc gum, Nov 5th, 2010 @ 4:53pm

      Re:

      "I mean we can't have people with access to education we don't control, to our every secret, give them the ability to communicate in secret, to openly mock us, to create disruptions in our business models."

      Yep. And what they do not realize is, if they were doing their jobs instead of screwing everyone then there would be nothing to be afraid of.

       

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    darryl, Nov 5th, 2010 @ 1:47pm

    long history of making absolutely ridiculous claims--- who does ?? You Mike :)

    Mike Masnick, who works for the big search companies and copyright thieves as a professional propagandist and spin doctor, and has a long history of making absolutely ridiculous claims in order to support their(his) positions, apparently got a bit of traction from the non-thinking readers......

     

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      Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 5th, 2010 @ 1:55pm

      Re: long history of making absolutely ridiculous claims--- who does ?? You Mike :)

      ....realized darryl lives down under and has virtually no claim to make with regard to either United States commerce, nore really international commerce either (C'mon, man, we buy your Fosters to keep you 'Roos going, but that's really all you've got, k?)

       

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        Paul Hobbs (profile), Nov 8th, 2010 @ 7:26am

        Re: Re: long history of making absolutely ridiculous claims--- who does ?? You Mike :)

        "but that's really all you've got, k?"

        Soooo not true. We've given the world Crocodile Dundee, Hugh Jackman, Vegemite, the dual flush toilet, and budgie smugglers (look it up).

        Besides, "What Have the Americans Ever Done For Us?"

         

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          Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 8th, 2010 @ 7:32am

          Re: Re: Re: long history of making absolutely ridiculous claims--- who does ?? You Mike :)

          "We've given the world Crocodile Dundee, Hugh Jackman, Vegemite, the dual flush toilet, and budgie smugglers (look it up)."

          Bad, worse, don't know what it is, don't know why you'd ned it, and no.

          "Besides, "What Have the Americans Ever Done For Us?""

          Snooki. We gave you Snooki....

           

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 5th, 2010 @ 1:59pm

      Re: long history of making absolutely ridiculous claims--- who does ?? You Mike :)

      Mike Masnick, who works for the big search companies and copyright thieves

      I work for neither, darryl. Making up stuff is pretty weak. Google ads on this site represent less than 1% of our revenue, and don't even cover the cost of *one* of our server's bandwidth costs per month. But, you know, nice try. I've also never done any work for a "copyright thief" whatever that means.

       

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        :Lobo Santo (profile), Nov 5th, 2010 @ 2:02pm

        Re: Re: long history of making absolutely ridiculous claims--- who does ?? You Mike :)

        Obviously a copyright thief is somebody who steals a copyright from somebody else.

        It's just like stealing a house, right?

        ; P

         

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          Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 5th, 2010 @ 2:17pm

          Re: Re: Re: long history of making absolutely ridiculous claims--- who does ?? You Mike :)

          "Obviously a copyright thief is somebody who steals a copyright from somebody else.

          It's just like stealing a house, right?

          ; P"

          YOINK! Attention: the above original expression is now mine. I have appropriated it.

          Copyright thief fucking strikes again!!!!

           

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        Fosters Lager, Nov 5th, 2010 @ 3:14pm

        Re: Re: long history of making absolutely ridiculous claims--- who does ?? You Mike :)

        May be true, but while your post is also probably accurate, it neglects a key point: It wasn't Cleland who suggested that net neutrality was an issue in the elections in the first place. It was Adam Green and the dingbats over at PCCC who issued the pledge. To wit, here's a few lovely quotes from the PCCC geniuses about their total failure of a pledge effort:

        "This is the first time ever that congressional candidates have joined together to make net neutrality an election issue…" - PCCC's Jasen Rosenbaum

        "95 Democrats Make Net Neutrality 2010 Issue" - PCCC's Adam Green. Green went on to say that Joe Sestak and Ann McClane Kuster were "surging" because they took the pledge. Both lost.

        "…It's not an accident that candidates like Joe Sestak and Ann McLane Kuster are surging in the polls by being bold economic populists, willing to stick their necks out on issues that directly challenge corporate power — like Net Neutrality."

        Now, let's just think about how absolutely stupid their entire effort was for a moment:

        1) PCCC had to know that the elections were going to be a shellacking for Democrats.

        2) PCCC had to know that the 95 pledge takers were probably going to lose overwhelmingly.

        So... With those two facts in their quiver, how colossally stupid of them to trumpet that their "pledge" was an "election issue."

        All Cleland's doing is pointing out what absolute dumb asses these guys are. Can't blame a guy for that. So Masnick, if you took the time to "look into the details" as you chastise the media for NOT doing, you would have learned that it wasn't Cleland who trumpeted this as an election issue -- it was the dim bulbs at PCCC.

        If they want to trumpet the 95 signers who signed their goofy "pledge" on NN as an election issue, who are we to stop them? The result: All 95 lost.

        Have a splendid weekend.

         

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          Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 5th, 2010 @ 3:50pm

          Re: Re: Re: long history of making absolutely ridiculous claims--- who does ?? You Mike :)

          May be true, but while your post is also probably accurate, it neglects a key point: It wasn't Cleland who suggested that net neutrality was an issue in the elections in the first place. It was Adam Green and the dingbats over at PCCC who issued the pledge. To wit, here's a few lovely quotes from the PCCC geniuses about their total failure of a pledge effort:

          Maybe true, and I don't deny that there are plenty of issues with PCCC's claims, but did reporters accept their premises unquestionably?

           

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            Fosters Lager, Nov 5th, 2010 @ 5:13pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: long history of making absolutely ridiculous claims--- who does ?? You Mike :)

            They did indeed, but before we get to that... Familiar with the word "schadenfreude"?

            I'm sure you probably are because as a journalist/blogger you employ it all the time -- it's an age old journalism technique literally translated as "taking pleasure in the misfortune of others." It can either be mean-spirited, or teasing in tone -- as Cleland was. It also makes great copy. None of the probably half dozen people inside the beltway who follow the ins and outs of net neutrality really believed that net neutrality was an election issue, but it was sure fun for journos to engage in a little post-election schadenfreude.

            Now, to your question... Here's the headlines (unquestioning)and some pull quotes (unquestioning) from stories (unquestioning) about PCCC's ridiculous pledge:

            The Hill: "95 Democratic candidates back net neutrality as 'First Amendment of the Internet'"
            "...PCCC senior online campaigns director Jason Rosenbaum said the pledge is the first time congressional candidates have ever joined together to make net neutrality an election issue. He predicted the announcement would help generate enthusiasm for net-neutrality legislation in the next Congress."

            PC Mag: "Democratic Candidates Make Net Neutrality a Campaign Issue"
            "...This is the first time ever that congressional candidates have joined together to make net neutrality an election issue," Jason Rosenbaum, the senior online campaigns director at PCCC, said in a statement."

            Broadcasting & Cable: "PAC Says 95 Candidates Signed Net Neutrality Pledge; Pledge marks first time congressional candidates team up to make net neutrality campaign issue"
            "...In a statement, the PAC's senior online campaign director, Jason Rosenbaum, said it was the first time that congressional candidates had teamed up to make net neutrality a campaign issue."

            National Journal: "First Look: 95 Dem Candidates Adopt Net Neutrality Pledge"
            "In an effort to make net neutrality a campaign issue and fight against corporate control of the Internet, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee announced 95 Democratic candidates Thursday that pledge to protect the openness of the Internet."

            There's many more, but I won't bore you. And lest you think bloggers were more questioning... They weren't. In fact, plenty of bloggers actually bought PCCC's bullshit more than traditional journos, citing the PCCC pledge as a winning campaign issue.

            You see Mike, journos were simply reporting about the PCCC pledge in which 95 candidates supported net neutrality as a "campaign issue." Cleland simply pointed out that the 95 candidates who supported net neutrality as a "campaign issue"... LOST!

            That's great copy. It's delightfully funny and a great followup to an asinine campaign pledge that got lots of coverage.

            So... Yes, reporters accepted the premise of PCCC unquestionably, and yes, they accepted Cleland's (tongue in cheek) blog post unquestionably -- they simply reported on the claims of both.

            You're welcome to do the analysis after the fact, but when doing so, don't neglect that it wasn't Cleland who made this an issue. It was the dolts at PCCC.

             

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2010 @ 2:15pm

      Re: long history of making absolutely ridiculous claims--- who does ?? You Mike :)

      Why would he get traction from you, Darryl? That seems kind of strange.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2010 @ 2:33pm

    This article is itself a perfect example of why those groups hate net neutrality, and by extension the internet in general.
    Before the internet, people would've just believed whatever they said. Now their "facts" are being analyzed and debunked.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2010 @ 3:24pm

    People are doing things wrong.

    You don't ask for laws to be made for ya, you make them and say vote on it now!

    This is what big companies do and they get what they want.

    What people need to do is to start writing their own laws and submitting them after of course we can all agree what needs to be inside that law.

    Where is the app?
    "Write the law app"

    Could we crowd-source this? probably yes.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 6th, 2010 @ 6:46am

    What list? You always hear about a list after the fact.

     

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    rochrist (profile), Nov 6th, 2010 @ 8:07am

    Of course the election wasn't a referendum on net neutrality. That said, given the results of the election, it couldn't be any deader unless it was the corpse of Abraham Lincoln.

     

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    Gene Cavanaugh, Nov 6th, 2010 @ 4:55pm

    Net neutrality "spin"

    Excellent points!
    Many years ago, lying was abominable, and could get you bounced from politics.
    Then Newt Gingrich (and, to some extent, Ronald Reagan) redefined it as "spinning", an admirable ability.
    To some extent, outright lies are really just "spin" now, and some people still admire it.
    That's a problem.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 8th, 2010 @ 10:12am

    Net Neutrality...

    IDC what they do, as long as whoever keeps trippin' over the cord at ATT and disconnecting me during raid time....

    I'll pay extra to get my WoW traffic prioritized.

    heh. I kid.

     

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