The following statement may be attributed to Mike Wendy, President of MediaFreedom.org:

Alexandria, VA, May 16, 2018 – On June 11th, the FCC’s Restoring Internet Freedom Order (RIF) will go into effect, officially overturning Obama’s Net Neutrality utility regulation for ISPs.  But today, Senate lawmakers, led by Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), passed a controversial Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution, which, if ultimately successful, would nullify the RIF’s light-touch approach to Internet regulation and replace it with Obama’s rejected Net Neutrality law.

This PR stunt is a massive waste of the people’s time.  Markey and his colleagues could be working toward real guidance to help the “Open Internet” grow for all – and they know this – but have instead chosen a CRA confidence-job, which benefits only Silicon Valley and professional progressives.

Markey and his comrades believe the American people want politics over prosperity. The Markey gang is wrong.  Quite simply, the CRA:

  • Does not promote investment – Title II Net Neutrality strips ISPs of their ability to monetize their property as they reasonably want, undermining investment and growth in their networks.
  • Does not promote innovation – A return to the prior rules would bring back the purposely vague “Internet Conduct Standard” and its arbitrary power to decide what new marketplace practices and procedures are acceptable, thwarting permission-less innovation, which made the Internet ecosystem thrive.
  • Does not promote competition – Utility regulation leads to price controls and property confiscation, a buzzkill to free market competition.
  • Does not protect privacy – Congress forbade the FCC from policing ISP privacy practices in 2017, but a return to Net Neutrality rules makes ISPs common carriers again, mooting FTC authority to check ISP privacy behavior, while also breaking-up comprehensive, Internet ecosystem privacy enforcement.
  • Does not protect free speech – Net Neutrality bans such reasonable business practices as paid priority, forbidding ISPs and their communications partners from working together and speaking as they see fit.

This all spells less prosperity for average Americans should the CRA become law.

The Internet and its denizens deserve better.  The CRA is no proxy for real legislation to guide the growth of the Internet.  Markey and his apparatchiks would do well to follow that route and work across the aisle for a comprehensive, constitutionally-sound law to reach that goal.

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Senator Ed Markey speaking at a recent Net Neutrality press conference on Capitol Hill.

Senator Ed Markey believes Net Neutrality is a “razor sharp” mainstream issue, which America understands and supports. But for all the bluster, all the corporate PR, all the activists’ website promotions, all the pay-walled elites so excited about the possibility it could be reinstated via the Senator’s upcoming CRA vote, there was not a single shred of coverage in the three top national print news publications (NYT, WaPo and WSJ) on the all important, wait-hold-the presses procedural vote which moved forward yesterday, ostensibly (desperately) starting the end of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s repeal of Obama’s Depression-era Net Neutrality law.

The procedural vote to move the new CIA director – yes, that got front-page column inches. A bunch.

The procedural vote on the Net Neutrality CRA – zero, zip, zilch.

Even (as of this writing) CNet didn’t cover it.

That’s because we have long-known it is a contrived issue, supported mainly by Google and Facebook, and George Soros’ (white) privilege, professional activists.

Halted production of America’s most popular pick-up truck, affecting thousands of jobs – now that’s a real issue. Net Neutrality, not so much.

America simply does not care about this made-up problem in search of a solution, which instead of boosting investment in networks was really designed to subsidize edge companies like Google in payback for political support of President Obama in ’08 and ’12.

Markey’s right about one thing, however.  It is razor sharp for those pols who touch it.

Larry Lessig ran on it for president in 2016. Umm, he lost.

Tim Wu (the “father” of the term “Net Neutrality”) and Zephyr Teachout ran on it for public office in 2014. Umm, they both lost.

95 progressive congressional hopefuls ran on it in 2010. Umm, all lost.

It cut them out of their races, alright.  Ouch.

Ford’s halting its F-150 production is a more important story to America than Net Neutrality. That development affects real people and real lives.

Net Neutrality does not and never will because it is imagined, fake, and a confidence job on us all.

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On May 9th, Senate Democrats will force a vote to bring back FDR policies for the Internet. They’re calling for the Great Depression to “guide” America’s 21st Century communications networks, seeking to resurrect 30’s era utility regulation for ISPs.

“Hello, FDR?  You there?”

With the CRA and FDR’s Great Depression policies, Democrats seek to control our communications switchboard once again.

Perhaps they didn’t notice, but the Internet grew precisely because that connection was dropped long ago. Innovation, commerce and free expression have flourished as a result.

The upcoming Congressional Review Act (CRA) vote seeks to dial-back this success. Democrats want to use it to control the switchboard again, to bring back that old familiar POTS ring and its government-approved competition so our communications landscape is “properly protected.”

The CRA is a raw deal, however. It is a bad line to a corroded copper idea – a crackly, long-distance phone call to the government-depressed past.

Hang up the phone, Senators.

FDR can’t get your calls. His line and his policies have been disconnected.

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Senator Maria Cantwell – Censor.

A couple of days ago, Senator Maria Cantwell and 10 Democrat Senators sent a letter to FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai, urging him to put a spanner in the works of Sinclair Broadcasting’s proposed merger with the Tribune Company.

Sinclair’s crime (on top of it being a conservative voice in a sea progressive media organizations)? In their estimation, it’s violating the FCC’s arcane, rarely used “news distortion” policy.

Says the letter:

“…Sinclair may have violated the FCC’s longstanding policy against broadcast licensees deliberately distorting news by staging, slanting, or falsifying information (traditionally known as the news distortion standard). Multiple news outlets report that Sinclair has been forcing local news anchors to read Sinclair-mandated scripts warning of the dangers of “one-sided news stories plaguing our country,” over the protests from local news teams.

“As strong defenders of the First Amendment, guarantees of free speech and freedom of the press, we are alarmed by such practices. In the United States, the airwaves belong to the American people…”

Take a deep breath, Senators. It was only a promo touting the company’s efforts to weed out one-sided, fake news for its viewers, presenting, in its view, a more balanced product than its competitors (much like CNN and other news outlets have branded themselves in the wake of the fake news crisis).

What got the Senators going (again – it doesn’t take much) was a fake news video mashup by the sports blog Deadspin, which spliced together anchors from Sinclair’s different properties reading the promo, purposely making Sinclair look “creepy” in an intentional demonstration against the purported “evils” of the merger and its alleged effect of removing diversity from America’s newsrooms.

That video viral, making great fodder for anti-conservative pundits, late night TV, and Democrats – all of whom who want to stop the merger.

A simple promo blown out of proportion, recklessly conflated as news.

Goodness.

Anyway, Senator Cantwell’s letter has nothing to do with the First Amendment, and everything to do with the chokehold political parties, interest groups, trade associations and their agendas have on using FCC-granted airwaves to control networks – to their ends:

For Maria Cantwell and the DNC, they want to stop Sinclair and its bid to open up the airwaves to more conservative voices.

For Deadspin, its staff seemingly wants to punish a suitor – Univision, of which Sinclair owns 7 of its affiliates – for the purchase of its parent corporation, bringing with it a slew of hard changes to its operation after it was sued out of business by Hulk Hogan and (conservative activist) Peter Thiel.

For the Coalition to Save Local Media, it wants to keep programming and other competitive costs down for its members, which it feels won’t happen if Sinclair becomes bigger as a result of the merger.

For “media reform” groups like Free Press, they want to end all corporate media – especially networked conservative outlets – so that government elites can choose what our digital broccoli is.

And for the liberal media (which so gladly trafficked in the Deadspin video), aside from quotidian competitive concerns, they want to do anything they can to stop conservative outlets from hedging-in on their hegemony over information.

If these groups are so concerned about the First Amendment and “news distortion,” they should take a good hard look in the mirror.  The way they’ve gamed the Sinclair merger process distorts not only the competitive information marketplace, but, more importantly, Democracy itself.

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Ted Cruz Shows U.S. Conservatives We’ve Been “Facebooked” Hard and Often Because of Our Beliefs

April 16, 2018

Last week during the Senate Facebook hearing, Senator Ted Cruz took FB’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, to task for his company’s left leaning bias, which, through this architecture, has seemingly routinely “Facebooked” (i.e., censored and screwed) conservative voices on its properties. U.S. communications law creates a legal fiction which allows companies like FB to traffic in […]

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Congress: We’re Shocked, Shocked There’s Cambridge Analytica Going On in This Establishment

April 11, 2018

They protest too much – the Senators and Congressmen lined up to berate Mark Zuckerberg, striving to look like they’re protecting Americans from Facebook’s creepy habits during this week’s made-for-TV, Capitol Hill theater. They should take a look in the mirror instead. What did they expect when they created the path to subsidize and promote […]

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Welcome to the Scrape Economy – Brought to You by the Platforms and Their Protectors

April 10, 2018

The following statement may be attributed to Mike Wendy, President of MediaFreedom.org: Alexandria, VA, April 10, 2018 – Today’s Facebook inquisition to get Mark Zuckerberg to atone for his Cambridge Analytica “sins” is a charade. It was created by the protectors of Facebook and Silicon Valley to ostensibly “heal” the social media behemoth of its […]

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Restoring Internet Freedom Is Pretty Darned Awesome!

March 28, 2018

The progressive Left would have you believe that the Internet is somehow “over” because the current FCC repealed Obama’s confiscatory and free speech-killing Net Neutrality law, and has instead focused its efforts to guide Internet growth on light-touch regulation.  But, hey, the Internet still works fine, innovation thrives, and broadband infrastructure investment is on the […]

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“Open Internet-ers” Use Cambridge Analytica as a Crisis Tool to Censor

March 26, 2018

As Congress seeks to haul Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, to testify before it and atone for Cambridge Anlytica, let’s get this straight. This “scandal” ain’t about privacy of your data (which you willingly give up to get the “free and open” Internet). If it were, we’d be seeing the same finger-wagging for Obama’s 2012 big […]

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MediaFreedom Applauds FCC on Reforms to Boost Next-Generation Wireless Infrastructure

March 22, 2018

The following statement may be attributed to Mike Wendy, President of MediaFreedom.org: Alexandria, VA, March 22, 2018 – MediaFreedom applauds the FCC and, in particular, the work of Commissioner Brendan Carr, with today’s order streamlining the red-tape surrounding the National Historic Preservation Act and the National Environmental Policy Act, thus reducing the regulatory drags and […]

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