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?
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Filed Under: election, hype, journalism, net neutrality, reporting, scott cleland


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  1. identicon
    Fosters Lager, 5 Nov 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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