Tom Wheeler: 'I'm Not A Dingo.' John Oliver: 'Prove It!'

from the indeed dept

The John Oliver on net neutrality saga lives on. Following John Oliver’s segment on net neutrality, in which he said we should all really be calling it preventing cable company fuckery, the FCC’s servers melted down, and suddenly Oliver himself was a story. While the FCC had offered some boring acknowledgement of Oliver’s piece, Wheeler was finally caught on the record having to respond to the piece, and he noted something about how it was satire, but also, “I would like to state, for the record, I am not a dingo.”

And, of course, how could Oliver resist responding to that challenge.

As Oliver jokingly notes, he had only really said that hiring a former cable industry lobbyist to run the FCC was merely like hiring a dingo to babysit your kids. He’d never actually said he was a dingo — but, of course, now that Wheeler is denying it, Oliver is asking for proof that Wheeler is, in fact, not a dingo.

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Comments on “Tom Wheeler: 'I'm Not A Dingo.' John Oliver: 'Prove It!'”

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34 Comments
nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

If saying the truth gets politicians in hot water, then we have a serious problem in this country.

Yes, that’s one of many problems we have. It seems like there’s hardly anything a national politician can just come and say the unvarnished truth about without paying a price for it, and we the public are to blame for that. We have a history of demanding that politicians tell us impossible things, and punishing the ones who will actually tell it to us like it is, because we don’t want to hear about difficult solutions and complex problems.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: credibility

You do realise that there are people who trest this sarcastically because there has been almsot no change in the operation of the FCC twoards the telcos since the Ma Bell break-up, right? And nothing has changed.

Perhaps Wheeler, instead of treating the public so flippantly, should actually do his damned job.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: credibility

His flippant answer makes me wonder what other issues he treated flippantly rather than trying to get the full on answer.

Probably a lot. I know this is repetitive but it doesn’t seem to have sunk in yet. He treats subjects flippantly because he’s a comedian. Making things funny is his job. If you are looking for serious, responsible treatment of important issues, do not watch Last Week Tonight, The Daily Show, or The Colbert Report, because they are not news shows, they are comedy shows.

art guerrilla (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 credibility

thanks for setting whatever straight…

however, it IS an indicator of just how debased ‘our’ (sic) media has gotten when we DEPEND UPON satirical shows for ‘real’ news that the ‘real’ news won’t cover in any significant fashion…

i understand whatever’s frustration in some ways, in that there have been many times when jon stewart/colbert has an evil minion of doom on their show, and they get off lightly… (AS OPPOSED to the numerous times they DO NAIL THEM TO THE WALL in a manner the ‘real’ media will not do…)

i would LIKE THEM to reach over and smack the evil minions of doom, and while that might be satisfying to me, i doubt it would do their show much good… well, i bet the ratings would skyrocket, but their sponsors would squeal like stuck pigs, and THAT is the important factor…

again, the shame is NOT in the fact that stewart et al do a better job pointing out gross hypocrisy than the ‘real’ news; the shame is THEY SHOW UP the ‘real’ news, who most of us have essentially dismissed as having little-to-no relevancy in actually discussing/reporting on these issues…

ltlw0lf (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 credibility

do not watch Last Week Tonight, The Daily Show, or The Colbert Report, because they are not news shows, they are comedy shows.

I disagree. They are very much news shows in that they inform their views of current issues and events. They are also comedy shows, and anyone who uses them solely for their news value is missing a lot. However, they are the only news shows you’ll watch where you know the exact bias (or the case of Colbert, the anti-bias) of the presenter. They are trying to make you laugh at stuff you really should be shaking your head or crying about. You aren’t going to get that from 60-minutes (or, as better known, the state shill hour,) or the local news (unless you happen to have a ghetto news service.)

I consider them to be what Wikipedia is to research, a starting point to which you spend further investigating, but not the one-stop destination for everything you need to know.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 credibility

I disagree. They are very much news shows in that they inform their views of current issues and events.

My point is that if you’re expecting them to be thorough, objective, or serious, which seems to be what Whatever is looking for, you will be disappointed at best. They definitely cover news, and in a valuable way, but Oliver is a perfect example. If his aim were news, he would have gone on about how Wheeler was deflecting criticism and called on him to actually address the revolving door issue. Instead, he challenged him to prove he isn’t a dingo – because that’s funnier.

wallyb132 (profile) says:

Re: credibility

I wouldnt say he lost credibility over his response, because like the post above says, he is the host of a comedy show.

However, i think he did something powerful with his first piece, something that nobody else has been able to do, and that was to get the message about cable company fuckery out in a way the general public, who has no clue what it means or how it will effect us, could understand it, all jokes aside, he did one hell of a good job explaining the subject. And with that said, I do think he missed a great opportunity to engage Tom Wheeler in a way that no one else could have.

Obviously his piece got some attention, and for once, the American public as a whole is enlightened about and starting to become engaged in a subject that is extremely important to all of us, and for that alone John Oliver deserves immense respect.

HT (profile) says:

Re: credibility

I think what you may have missed the subtle subtext.

Wheeler didn’t respond AT ALL. He said people are more informed, but he didn’t say whether he was happy, angry, sad, annoyed, etc. about it. By blatantly dismissing the impact that the video has had and subverting the conversation away from the serious issues he is failing to do his job. Oliver was calling out a ridiculous response for what it was – a well paid public official chuckles at the public being informed and then seems to misunderstand what a metaphorical comparison is.

Wheeler – while not an idiot – is definitely not treating this subject with the respect it deserves. He deserves to be ridiculed about dumb shit until he can’t say any more dumb shit and has to focus on the real issue.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: credibility

Oliver was calling out a ridiculous response for what it was – a well paid public official chuckles at the public being informed and then seems to misunderstand what a metaphorical comparison is.

I’m wondering if Wheeler was delighted with Oliver’s rebuttal. If he can keep the conversation about whether he’s a literal dingo, then people won’t be talking about whether he’s a metaphorical dingo.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Listening comprehension

I always question peoples’ reading comprehension, but how can you trust someone in this type of position that can’t even understand what someone says. He never called you a dingo!

He understood perfectly. By saying “I’m not a dingo!” he looks like he’s responding, without actually addressing the substance of the criticism (which he doesn’t want to do). It’s misdirection.

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