Why Are The People Who Whined About Wheeler's Net Neutrality Rules Being '400 Pages' Silent About Pai's Being '539 Pages'

from the because-they're-fucking-hypocrites dept

Mike Wendy is an interesting guy. He's ever present on Twitter attacking pretty much anyone who is in favor of net neutrality and has a bit of a following. In his day job, he operates something called "Media Freedom" which is one of an astoundingly long list of astroturf operations parroting telco interests (nearly all of Wendy's prior career was spent working for telco industry groups). Over the last two years, Wendy has been one of the most vocal attackers of the Tom Wheeler's net neutrality rules -- and he had a pretty strong go to line about just how much of a "regulatory" burden the rules were. Let me see if I can find it... Oh, right.

Yes, as Wendy's repetition was designed to point out, over and over again, those old rules simply must be extra burdensome, because it's 400 pages and over 1700 footnotes. Of course, that's bullshit, and Wendy knows its bullshit -- but he wanted to misrepresent the rules and make them seem like a giant regulatory burden. The actual rules were just 8 pages. There were 392 other pages of legally required information including discussions of the various public comments and the various statements from the Commissioners, including lengthy dissent statements from the disagreeing commissioners. In the Wheeler ruling, Ajit Pai's dissent took up 64 pages and Michael O'Rielly's was another 15 pages. Yet, somehow, Wendy and others didn't bother letting people know that 89 pages of the 400 pages were explaining why the rules were (apparently) bad.

When the draft rules came out, at 210 pages, I wondered why Wendy and others were suddenly silent on the page length.

Last week, as you may have heard, Pai's actual final rules were released... and the full document weighs in at 539 pages. Again, those are not the actual rules. Those are just the rules, the legally required (and very detailed) explanation of the rules and all the Commissioners' statements. And guess who's suddenly angry about people misrepresenting why the new document is so long? Why, it's our old buddy, Mike Wendy:

Wendy is correct that a big chunk of the new document is Clyburn's appendix, which are Wheeler's original order (including all the required explanatory text), but remember, Wendy didn't bother to discount similar text appended to Wheeler's order at all. Instead, he used it repeatedly to falsely imply that the rules were a complicated 400 pages of burdensome regulations. Remember "400 pages, 1777 footnotes of "simple" Title II. Sure, Kev" from Wendy? But now, suddenly, it's nitpick, nitpick, nitpick about which parts are in favor and which parts are dissent. Fascinating.

To be fair, Fight for the Future similarly should not be playing up the "539 pages" for the same reasons that Wendy and other anti-neutrality folks shouldn't have played up the 400 pages. But at least unlike Wendy and others, Fight for the Future is just complaining about how bad the new rules are, not suggesting totally incorrectly, that the (false and misleading) length of the rules is somehow an indication of how "burdensome" and "complicated" the rules are.

Again, it's fine to make arguments about the actual rules (8 pages in the Wheeler order and 2 pages in the Pai order), but it should be quite clear that those who actually understand this stuff (like, say, someone who's worked in the telco policy space for decades) should acknowledge that they were absolutely full of shit in repeatedly arguing that the Wheeler rules were 400 pages. Or, if they're not willing to admit that, then why aren't they similarly complaining about the "539 pages" of the Pai "rules"? Maybe -- and I'm just spitballing here -- it's because they're total hypocrites who were happy to misrepresent the length of the rules when they didn't like them, but are now going to nitpick the specifics because using their very same argument against them would, I don't know, make them look ridiculous?


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  • identicon
    Iggy, 11 Jan 2018 @ 1:45pm

    How does this guy get compensated?

    Not surprising to see opinion pieces writting by sock puppets but why do they bother posting in comments and on twitter at random times? Who pays them for this? Is it a fixed rate per post or something more sophisticated involving a measure of public opinion? Are his postings part of an online networking presence he can show to future employers? If this guy is self employed, he has great passion for his work, I'll give him that!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2018 @ 1:57pm

      Re: How does this guy get compensated?

      They are probably stock holders.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Sayonara Felicia-San (profile), 14 Jan 2018 @ 8:51am

      Re: How does this guy get compensated?

      Just like George Soros pays protesters, through a network of organizations funded by other organizations.

      Once you are more than 2 degrees away from something, the American public are trained like rats to call any linkage back a 'conspiracy theory'

      And even 1 degree away doesn't really matter anymore.

      We don't live in a Republic anymore, we live in a Corporate Monarchy.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Roger Strong (profile), 15 Jan 2018 @ 2:01pm

        Re: Re: How does this guy get compensated?

        You think you're not parroting a conspiracy theory because you're two degrees away from whomever made it up.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2018 @ 1:58pm

    Repeating the same thing over and over .... hmmm who does that remind me of.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Roger Strong (profile), 11 Jan 2018 @ 3:02pm

    Why Are The People Who Whined About Wheeler's Net Neutrality Rules Being '400 Pages' Silent About Pai's Being '539 Pages'

    IOKIYAR

    See also...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2018 @ 4:06pm

    Yet again complaining about obscure persons complaining or not complaining about length of the rules?

    This is a new low for even your kvetching. You "wrote" similarly around 6 Dec.

    I take the comment above on lack of creativity as pointed at Masnick, not his target. I think Masnick just forgot he'd already gone with this once. -- At least, I hope forgot. If he actually thinks this stupid premise is worth repeating...

    Is this rather Freudian fixation on length ALL that you can come up with in this complex area? -- I guess it's technically better than your imagining FUD, but doubt will please those alleged 27 Bangladeshi who view the site every day!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2018 @ 4:48pm

      Re: Yet again complaining about obscure persons complaining or not complaining about length of the rules?

      out_of_the_blue just hates it when due process is enforced.

      DMCAed.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2018 @ 6:43pm

        Re: Re: Yet again complaining about obscure persons complaining or not complaining about length of the rules?

        Mike,
        Please remember to get out_of_the_blue's permission before writing anything in the future. Don't make him have to come here and call you out again.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2018 @ 8:04pm

          Re: Re: Re: Yet again complaining about obscure persons complaining or not complaining about length of the rules?

          out_of_the_blue has claimed credit for Techdirt's coverage of Prenda Law. There are no shortage of ways for Masnick to inadvertently give out_of_the_blue a narcissistic ego trip, never mind on purpose.

          Nothing will please this lunatic. Report and move on.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2018 @ 4:53pm

      Re: Yet again complaining about obscure persons complaining or not complaining about length of the rules?

      I thought you quit.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2018 @ 7:14pm

      Re: Yet again complaining about obscure persons complaining or not complaining about length of the rules?

      27 Bangledeshi and your dumb ass...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      ryuugami, 11 Jan 2018 @ 8:19pm

      Re: Yet again complaining about obscure persons complaining or not complaining about length of the rules?

      I agree, if Mike wants to write opinion pieces like this, he should make a blog or something.

      ... waaaaait a minute.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 12 Jan 2018 @ 2:42am

      Re: Yet again complaining about obscure persons complaining or not complaining about length of the rules?

      "complaining about obscure persons complaining or not complaining about length of the rules"

      Is that better or worse than obscure idiots who refuse to be named complaining about what obscure (according to them) persons are complaining about?

      "those alleged 27 Bangladeshi"

      Alleged by who? If you think there's only 27 people viewing this site, why are you so obsessed with commenting here?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 12 Jan 2018 @ 10:49pm

      Re: Yet again complaining about obscure persons complaining or not complaining about length of the rules?

      I think Masnick just forgot he'd already gone with this once.

      Reading is not your strong suit. I refer to and link to the earlier article in the post. The reason I wrote another one was because the length of the final order is noticeably even longer than the original one, and since most people (you excepted!) are interested in seeing the hypocrisy at play, it was worth discussing.

      But I'm so glad that you're paying such careful attention. What would we do with your constant trolling?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 11 Jan 2018 @ 5:08pm

    Wendy and others: There are just way too many pages, this thing is absolutely insane! 400 pages?! Come on, that's ridiculous!

    It's actually just 8, the rest are explanations, the dissents, stuff like that. The size of the thing isn't a good metric for how bad it is.

    Wendy and others: 400 pages!

    **

    Fight for the Future: This thing is 539 pages! This is ridiculous!

    Wendy: Well you see, most of that is legally required stuff, and really, basing outrage on page count? What kind of buffoon does that?

    Funny how that works, though it does make his glaring hypocrisy crystal clear.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2018 @ 8:15pm

      Re:

      Bunch of two bit ass clowns .. like that dude that claimed a story about him was fake news and then later denied that he had called it fake news - there is video of the incident.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    wshuff (profile), 12 Jan 2018 @ 6:04am

    I love how they named it the “Restoring Internet Freedom Order.” If these guys wrote legislation to repeal the 13th Amendment, they’d call it the “Providing Jobs and Outdoor Recreation for Non-Whites Act.”

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    mike B., 12 Jan 2018 @ 8:32am

    I thought about all the talk about bogging the companies down with regulations and paper and we gotta free things up. Yeah, I get that.

    But when I have to read through legalese, as an end user, to try to figure out what access and do/don't have, no one seems to care about us getting bogged down in paper. And we are far less equipped to handle it than mega-corps with legal departments (or should I get all bootstrappy and figure out legal documents for myself?).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jan 2018 @ 9:08am

    Libertarianism is only good when it's convenient to a politician's or corporation's primary agenda. When it's not, they toss it out in the garbage. The same thing with any other law or regulation. If it's protectionist or convenient then keep it or strengthen. If it's inconvenient then it's obstructionist, burdensome, and needs to be replaced by something better on the bottom line even if the regulations are more convoluted than ever.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Doug (profile), 12 Jan 2018 @ 11:49am

    Hypocrisy is An Accepted Tactic

    I feel Mike's discouragement at the blatant hypocrisy. And it is totally worth pointing out. However, I don't share is apparent surprise. Hypocrisy seems to be the most accepted political tactic these days. Most of politics to me seems to be *based* on hypocrisy. It's the best way to keep our deep them-vs.-us divisions in place.

    The real problem is how ready people are to accept this hypocrisy when it is in their favor. I'm not outraged at the hypocrisy. I'm outraged at the lack of bipartisan outrage over any hypocrisy.

    There's so many layers to this onion. No wonder I'm always crying.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Richard Bennett (profile), 14 Jan 2018 @ 11:31am

    Bzzztttt....

    "Wendy didn't bother to discount similar text appended to Wheeler's order at all."

    Because there wasn't any. Attaching all 308 pages of a prior order in a commissioner's comment was bizarre and unprecedented.

    But I'm sure Silicon Valley is pleased by the misdirection.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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