Categories
Domestic issues Election 2008 McCain Obama Politics The Media The Web and Technology

‘The Fairness Doctrine for the Internet’ is a Conservative Strawman


[FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell at a Tech Policy Summit. Picture by TechPolicySummit used under a Creative Commons license.]

[digg-reddit-me]With some new information, I’m adding to the timeline I created to demonstrate the significance of FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell’s comments on net neutrality (which is also a useful link to check out if you’re unfamiliar with the Fairness Doctrine) a few days ago.

The situation:

The Politics:

Obama is in favor of net neutrality.

McCain thinks it’s all confusing1 and claims he doesn’t know what his position is (though he has made definitive statements opposing it.)

The Democrats are generally in favor of net neutrality.

It has not been a big issue for Republicans, but a few have come out against it (see Ted Stevens.)  The conservative base hates the Fairness Doctrine though with a passion.

Since the idea occured to them: Big internet companies want to charge more for customers to access certain internet sites, or to allow certain sites to have priority and to slow down others, and in general to assert control over internet content.

October 2007: The Progress and Freedom Foundation, a think tank funded by companies opposed to net neutrality, publishes a report explaining that a good way to attack net neutrality is to call it “The Fairness Doctrine for the Internet (PDF).”

Spring 2008: Internet providers begin experiments with tiered pricing and other anti-net-neutrality practices.

After McCain secures Republican nomination: He begins to rake in large sums of money from AT&T, the US Telecom Association, Verizon, and other companies opposing net neutrality.

June 2008: A Republican Congressmen introduces a bill to outlaw the Fairness Doctrine (which has been illegal since the 1980s).

Later in June 2008: A conservative reporter publishes a story which alleges that Nancy Pelosi is considering reinstating the Fairness Doctrine.

August 12, 2008: FCC Commissioner, Robert McDowell, says that net neutrality could lead to the regulation of political speech on the internet, as if it’s the Fairness Doctrine for the internet.

The Drudge Report publicizes the speech with the scare headline:

FCC Commissioner: Return of 'Fairness Doctrine' Could Control Web Content...

Now: Conservative talk radio hosts are talking about how net neutrality is the Fairness Doctrine for the internet. (I heard Steve Marlsburg, a bete noir of this blog, who is so old he probably still calls the internet the world wide web ranting on this subject on his show yesterday.) Conservative bloggers are jumping on the bandwagon.

Next week, McCain plans on releasing the details of his Technology Policy which is reported to be “market-oriented.”

Then for my pessimistic speculation

These conservatives begin to raise the issue in attacks on Obama, liberals, etcetera. Progressives and liberals defend net neutrality.

And then: Independent-minded people and journalists who haven’t been paying attention to this issue finally notice now that conflicts are arising.  Journalists cover the issue giving “both sides” and independents throw up their hands, unable to pick a side.

And: Conservatives mount a campaign attacking Democrats.  Even those conservatives who support net neutrality are silent because they’re happy for any issue on which they can hit Democrats and which they can use to fund raise.

Finally, January 2009: After the election, Democrats attempt to pass net neutrality legislation.  A grass-roots structure has been created to oppose them, and many Republicans have publicly committed to oppose it.  An obvious policy choice that should have bipartisan support becomes a struggle to enact.

(On a hopeful note, I think this is a fight the Democrats and supporters of the internet can win.)

This is how public opinion is manipulated.  This is how our political system is corrupted as the obvious and clear policy is shrouded in spin and the consensus is replaced by deliberate polarization.

Matt Stoller of OpenLeft is more sanguine about the effects of this campaign to tar net neutrality:

Now, the question is not substantive, it’s whether this campaign will work to persuade people that up is down, that black is white. I don’t think it will.

But what I think Stoller is missing is that this propaganda campaign does not seem directed to the public at large, but at conservative activists.  The Fairness Doctrine is not something that gets the blood of the average American boiling.  But it does evoke a Pavlovian response among conservative activists and right-wing radio listeners.

And although these groups are not large enough to force their way, they are large enough to derail the political conversation and make it harder to enact this obvious policy. Even if some do realize they are being manipulated, many are willing to go along with the party-line and take the necessary positions to gain power.

All of which points to one thing: without Barack Obama as president, net neutrality may not have the necessary support.

  1. His exact quote is: “I go back and forth on the issue. []

381 replies on “‘The Fairness Doctrine for the Internet’ is a Conservative Strawman”

golfbodyshop

nfl haason reddick black 43 arizona cardinals nike name number logo t shirt mens under armour midnight green philadelphia eagles combine authentic lockup tech long sleeve t shirt nike lunarglide 6 ebay nike free virtuous crimson new york yankees hat ur…

nicakhtar

nike flyknit air vapormax gr酶n gul nike pegasus 33 hommes blanc underwear maschio nike roshe run hyperfuse oro air jordan 30 gold gelb kobe 8 year of the snake noir widow nike kd 7 wei脽 obsidian locations

epointsclub

reebok gl 6000 white stan smith adidas women white and black mackage coat with fur lebron 12 low performance review nike oakland raiders 83 ted hendricks limited white jersey all black hermes belt

pgmtemple

north face hyvent jacket blue mens under armour curry 5 red netherlands white ralph lauren shirt cheap christian louboutin red suede pumps converse high tops nike air max 2015 black running shoes

thesignsledge

air jordan 6 infrarouge uk maschio nike roshe run hyp verde nero nike air max schwarz and rosa nike kobe 11 alle sort ink nike lunar hyperquickness mennns basketball sko kvinders air jordan retro 12 gul gr酶n

infotostudio

silver black mens nike air max 90 essential shoes star wars ear hat air max 1 breathe orange air jordan future wolf grey infrared le coq sportif shoes green red silver purple womens nike lunarglide 6 shoes

bootsoffprice

air max 90 r nike air speed turf hombres oro top hat cleaners georgetown air jordan super fly green silver nike air force 1 mid rojo plata nfl youth atlanta falcons nike olive salute to service sideline therma pullover hoodie

broomsandb

air jordan retro 1 barn gull bl氓 nike air pegasus 92 blanco naranja hood femmes nike free tr flyknit 5.0 orange jaune mennns asics gel sendai 2 gr氓 bl氓 asics l酶ping sko oransje bl氓 nike internationalist jaune noir nike

hustlepool

mizuno wave prophecy brun asics gel noosa tri 7 braun grau dodgers 22 clayton kershaw white usmc cool base stitched mlb jersey nike youth lester hayes elite black home jersey oakland raiders nfl 37 vapor untouchable nero nike foamposite for a buon merc…

jmgtours

adidas zx orange green nike air jordan 12 black cheap nike sb blazer high womens pink nike air max stutter step 2 2015 nike free run 2 black anthracite tickets a buon mercato nike air force 1 mid maschio oro

sennaparisllc

ladies moncler padded jacket pairing ray ban rb4167 mulberry arundel leather tote bag black used nike air yeezy 2 grey sky blue parajumpers coat kids room burberry scarf cashmere silk

kifftradingco

jordan 4 retron grade school women 2012 new nfl jerseys san francisco 49ers 53 navorro bowman red jerseys hall of fames 50th patch jordan 9 army green back to school air max 90 lila herren nike flyknit lunar 3 kvinders gr氓 r酶d discount oakley deviation…

fxyahoo

air jordan 1 r酶d wolf gr氓 nike free run 3 5.0 r酶d sko nike roshe run floral ni帽os oro blanco nike air max 95 jacquard hvid kit nike free run 4.0 cool grau tropical twist free mujeres nike roshe run slip p煤rpura blanco

allstudentshuttle

nike hypershift marine gr眉n nike lebron ambassador 9 braun lila adidas yeezy boost 350 s酶lv gul nike hypervenom phantom sg gull jordan 4 military azul toddler roshe run gamma gr酶n salg

sellingmason

armani tie silver lining ralph lauren short sleeve shirt navy unblocked ray ban justin 51 vs 55 hermes pop h earrings review nike air presto palm green for sale mackage coats without fur day

falsterboyoga

nike air max 2015 blue lagoon flyknit man crawford hoody canada goose burberry cashmere scarf color dimensions prada sunglasses description gps nike the roshe run christian louboutin patent leather mary jane pumps

purchasetulsa

womens nike zoom pegasus 33 beige nike air max thea hot lyser酶d lipstick air jordan retro 3 ni帽os oro gris nike air max 2019 green uk nike air max thea lilla r酶d gr酶nn buy jordan 11 prom night

meersaitig

kyrie 3 blue and white zinfandel nike roshe run dames maat 38 christian louboutin shoes singapore pandora bangle bracelet with heart clasp ray ban rb4147 brown gradient method prada black round sunglasses

georgesherry

blackhawks 88 patrick kane autographed hockey jerseys black ice hockey jersey brand hockey wear embroidered greg olsen authentic jersey kirk cousins 8 washington redskins jersey black red mens adidas crazylight boost shoes nike kaishi ladies running sh…

tntkibris

hermes h necklace price nike lebron 14 gold pink mackage coats discount number the north face coats sale big prada sunglasses boys adidas ace football boots

phihochdrei

flyknit trainer rot quiz nike huarache ultra oransje dominicana nike zoom structure 20 bl氓 svart nike shox deliver hombres rojo light nike huarache mowabb acg for vente air jordan 8 retro vert up

carbonstalk

mulberry bag how much mlb jerseys chicago white sox 45 michael jordan white jerseys parajumpers mixed burberry gray tie womens moncler lans jacket prada 60mm aviator sunglasses

polo hombres zip up sweater

navy dixie cup hat history womens nike air max 90 premium black earl thomas signed jersey nike dan fouts ash one color los angeles chargers nfl 14 t shirt nike cortez classic blum盲nner womens adidas nmd runner orange spain

milapioffret

red pink mens nike performance free 5.0 shoes nike free 5.0 schwarz metalleic silber anthracite air jordan 31 michigan for venta georgia ray ban aviator sunglasses nz questions nike mens tedy bruschi limited camo jersey new england patriots nfl 54 rush…

thecancerinfo

burberry 100 cashmere scarf made in england hermes twilly scarf sale prada mens clutches evening bags louboutin flat boot resoling mackage jacket ebay twitter tory burch suede wedge boots

alloweducates

kijiji mackage leather jacket asics gel noosa tri 10 womens gold green womens air jordan retro 14 gold yellow adidas pure boost europe jordan retro 7 black and red black and pink coach bag

nvzpsk97

herren nike shox elite basketballe schuhe air max 1 dynamic bleu acheter air jordan 29 all svart qb kvinders salomon s lab sense guld gr酶n nike sb stefan janoski max gelb lyrics roshe run noir and blanc nike

yolkedprotein

pink red womens nike payaa shoes ray ban wayfarer 50mm black mackage bomber jacket nike flyknit roshe run sneaker zone cheap asics gel kinsei 2 mens gold nike sb stefan janoski max dark

air jordan 31 lilla oransje

nike pegasus 33 hommes vente nike air force 1 grigio and arancia red leather chuck taylors nz womens derek barnett limited olivecamo nike jersey nfl philadelphia eagles 96 2017 salute to service ralph lauren handbags lilla beige air jordan cp3 grey red

オメガスーパーコピー

激安の大特価で販売中です新作コピー ドルチェ&ガッバ―ナベルトスーパーコピー|ブランドコピーベルト|ドルチェ&ガッバ―ナベルト偽物|最高級ドルチェ&ガッバ―ナスーパーコピー販売|激安ドルチェ&ガッバ―ナベルト|偽物ドルチェ&ガッバ―ナベルトコピー|(D&G)ドルチェ&ガッバ―ナベルトー 弊社はD&G コピー商品特に大人気のD&Gベルト種類とサイズを豊富に取り揃えます 。 D&Gバッグ、D&Gベルト、 D&G財布などのとD&Gー新作のD&Gコピー品の 品質よく、

スーパーコピーブランドバッグN級品

《2018春夏新作,100%品質保証!》 大好評につき再入荷! 高品質超人気! 人気ランキング通販! 2018専門店、最安値で販売 賛! 上質本革割引! 定番人気市場! 【激安専門店】 【楽天最安値に挑戦】 再入荷/予約販売! 芸能人も大注目☆正規品販売店 超格安、送料無料,着くために5-6日以内に無料配信! 日本在庫あり-即日出荷可能 新品衣替えセール!

honestmentor

air max 97 wei脽 and schwarz yeezy air jordan retro 12 svart university bl氓 team air jordan retro 12 rosa and svart for salg yeezy 350 boost alle schwarz download air jordan b酶rn sko s酶lv gr氓 kvinners nike air max 2014 svart bl氓

jennymarston

nike pegasus 32 negro market nike air max 90 essential svart hvit gr氓 air jordan retro 31 gold minzgr眉n adidas islanders 41 jaroslav halak camo authentic 2017 veterans day stitched nhl jersey nike womens mike pouncey ash backer los angeles chargers nfl…

atolyekarinca

adidas springblade womens adidas neo vlneo court 14 w new balance 608 tennis shoes adidas porsche design iv gul lilla limited leon hall jersey cincinnati bengals 29 alternate orange adidas climacool ride green arrow

nongmobacon

women 2012 new nfl jerseys san francisco 49ers 53 navorro bowman red jerseys hall of fames 50th patch jordan 11 game purple asics gel noosa tri 8 viola oro kobe 11 negro space jams oakley sunglasses jupiter engine texas nike youth chandler catanzaro li…

nvusforex

nike zoom clear out violet bleu mens sean lee jersey kirk cousins 8 washington redskins jersey green gold mens new balance 577 shoes bon march茅 nike tiempo legend hommes bleu new york yankees cap cape town tour

jenalgroup

texas rangers hat amazon nike free 5.0 womens gold red nike cortez sort brun nike womens nevin lawson limited camo jersey detroit lions nfl 24 rush realtree kirk cousins 8 washington redskins jersey free run 5.0 orange black light

marijuanapeer

prada calf leather tote bag womens nike roshe run gold pink michael kors black tote bag large nike air rejuven8 mule 3 green red nike browns 73 joe thomas red stitched limited afc 2017 pro bowl jersey flyknit trainer drop down

cartonpat

nike air max thea mujeres azul amarillo nike dunks high femmes jordan retro 13 blanco rojo gris ralph lauren flag polo hvid gr氓 adidas tubular runner weave silber nike air zoom pegasus 32 vert

スーパーコピー 腕時計 激安

スーパーコピーブランド通販 ブランドスーパーコピー格安買取 価値あるスーパーコピー財布、バッグのルイヴィトンコピー販売専門店 日本最大級スーパーコピー、通販、ヴィトンコピー、代引き、レプリカ、財布 激安、卸売り、偽物、シャネル財布、バッグ、時計、代金引換、スーパーコピー専門店販売送料無料。 ホームページ上でのご注文は24時間受け付けております

belronctx

mackage cleo leather jacket nike roshe one all white dirk nowitzki jersey deutschland versace waist belt womens nike kobe 12 orange germany sales on ugg boots for women

daddeaze

nike air foamposite pro gelb converse femme all star blanche adidas zx flux grau woven nike mens kenny stabler limited green jersey oakland raiders nfl 12 salute to service tank top adidas originals zx flux all blue air jordan future womens blue purple

cutlaroc

athletics 25 mark mcgwire green flexbase authentic collection stitched mlb jersey femminile supra skytop verde cielo blu air yeezy ii 2 sp max 90 kvinners hvit rosa nike kobe 8 himmelen bl氓 s酶lv air huarache dark grau magnet hyper cobalt rosa nike luna…

womens air max 90 ultra 2.0

nike air jordan 13 retro cemennt gr氓 baltimore orioles camouflage hat air jordan ovo 10 price nike womens luke willson limited steel jersey detroit lions nfl 82 rush vapor untouchable nike black christian mccaffrey name number logo nfl 22 carolina pant…

phxfam

womens nike huarache utility black denmark herren nike air max tn schwarz blau nike elite vtng girls high converse hommes nike roshe run triangle violet vert mitchell and ness lakers 32 magic johnson stitched white throwback nba jersey

culturalsq

jordan 10 pink christmas air max 90 tokyo pink nike flyknit lunar 2 grigio uk spelling nike air max 1 all releases yellow pink mens nike hyperdunk 2014 shoes lime green puma hat

evolutionecig

w991 air jordan retro 10 femminile grigio verde nike minnesota vikings 80 cris carter limited purple team color jersey air max men wright nfl pittsburgh steelers color rush limited antonio brown mens football jersey nike hyperdunk 2017 mens yellow

tlclease

nike philadelphia eagles 24 nnamdi asomugha dark green game jersey versace plaque belt ray ban rb4151 sunglasses walmart dolphins breast cancer hats diy oakley frogskins square sunglasses womens tubular wheat adidas

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.