Obama, FCC Poised to Cave to Telecoms & Turn Backs on Net Neutrality


Just getting word that after millions of dollars spent in intense lobbying efforts the FCC and Obama may finally be giving into the big telecom companies in particular AT&T & Comcast…I think this article below from Alternet explains it best, but I will add a couple of things to think about.

One of the strategies used by AT&T was to go to communities of color, find Civil Rights organizations and in my humble opinion and pay for their silence or advocacy. The list ranged from LULAC to the Urban League which filed briefs siding with the FCC. It makes no sense why organizations which have long spoke about not having voice their voices heard and a seat at the table would go along with any sort of policy that strip that away from the average person who found such an opportunity via the Internet.

Was having sponsorship dollars for the next awards banquet payment enough? Or a some computers for an after school program payment enough? We’re talking about intelligent people here. It would be absolutely trifling to sell out for something that low and glaringly obvious…

As organizations they too stand to benefit if their voices go unfiltered. Meaning that perhaps they along with handful of others will be placed free of charge on the soon to be unveiled Internet fast lanes while the rest of us will be left trying to raise money or get position to be on par as we escape the toll lanes and slow lanes these telecoms say they need to have in order to be viable..

The whole scenario reminds of the scenario that mad so many of us rush off to the internet in the first place. No one liked having to go through the one or two anointed media gate keepers to get the word out to the masses. Its kind of like having that one cat on the radio and everyone has to go kiss his/her ass to get they record played or PSA read.  The internet freed a lot of that up and made many of those gatekeepers irrelevant. In the age of information and social media its to the advantage of those in power to become gatekeeper and set up a new class of folks who will have unfettered access and serve that purpose.

For those who are still confused let me explain what is soon to come.. Lets say you have a website that houses your blog or music.. You will have the Herculean task of figuring out who is on what system and making sure your website isn’t in the slow lane. I’m sure some of the big telecoms will announce that for X amount of dollars a month you can be assured that your website will load up just as quick as some of the larger/ mainstream sites. So this means I have to figure out who is on AT&T, who is on Comcast, who is Direct TV and 50 other Internet service providers. They may all have a fee to make sure my site or information loads quickly to their customers. Thats what Net Neutrality was preventing from happening.

Glenn Beck smashed on Net Neutrality as a way to ensure he has an unobstructed voice on the net. he will be in the internet fast lane as a media gatekeeper while the rest of us will be tolled

So those of you who listened to the Glenn Becks of the world just note he was protecting his own ass when speaking out against NN.. It was a way to make sure he was one of a handful of voices to routinely have access to the masses. Same with many of the other folks who were waving the flag for AT&T.. it was all about HNIC.. being the Head Negro in Charge … being the new media gatekeeper.

Indy Artists who enjoyed duking it out with the majors and handing them their hats, you will have the hardest times, because the main gripe that Comcast was making was they wanted to charge those who use a lot of bandwidth, that comes with streaming, downloading  etc.. Its easy for a big company like Universal or Sony to cut deals and make sure their product is readily accessible, but what about the small time artist who has good material but no budget..Sad part to all this is no matter how much you pay there will always be an inner circle including companies and individuals that work for these telecoms who will have the fastest of lanes thsu always having a clear advantage over the average person or the small business looking to make a come up. This is what net neutrality was protecting us from.

Below is a list of Civil Rights orgs that submitted files to the FCC saying they wanted to have the internet DEREGULATED. When your shit starts slowing down, your message filtered or censored ,your music hard to access you and more importantly your fees go up, give these esteemed organizations and people a call and ask them how they intend to correct what will go down as a egregious error. Maybe they can let you use their accounts cause I’m certain in exchange for siding with these big telecoms they got a few perks including unfettered and fast lane access.

Here are recent anti-Network Neutrality filings by organizations of color..

There are more and I will post them later..

Urban League Chapter

http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7020408309

http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7020400790

http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7020400568

http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7020408157

http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7020400510

National Lesbian and Gay Chamber of Commerce

http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7020408718

Hispanic Federation

http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7020408716

LISTA

http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7020408720

Latino community Foundation in San Francisco

http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7020408354

Native Americans

http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7020408711

http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7020408291

http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7020408712

http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7020408704

http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7020408709

http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7020408717

http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7020408708

http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7020408713

NAACP in California

http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7020408307

Rainbow Push

http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7020408211

Texas State Rep. Robert Alonzo

http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7020408179

MANA, A National Latino Organization

http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7020400566

100 Black Men of South Metro

http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7020400798

100 Black Men of Mobile

http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7020401015

100 Black Men of Greater Mobile

http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7020401015

ASPIRA

http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7020400339

100 Black Men of Tennessee

http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7020400506

100 Black Men of Orlando

http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7020400502

HTTP

http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7020400970

Hispanic Interests Coalition of Alabama

http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7020401020

SER: Jobs for Progress

http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7020400060

NAACP Mar-Saline Branch

http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7020399888

Japanese American Citizens League

http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7020399819

Organization of Chinese Americans

http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7020399334

Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies

Rep. Yvette Clarke

http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7020399667

Obama, FCC Poised to Cave to Telecoms and Turn Backs on Net Neutrality

http://blogs.alternet.org/speakeasy/2010/05/03/obama-fcc-poised-to-cave-to-telecoms-turn-backs-on-net-neutrality/

by Daniela Perdomo

Obama, FCC Poised to Cave to Telecoms and Turn Backs on Net Neutrality

Among the young, forward-thinking demographics with whom Obama, the presidential candidate, was incredibly popular were the digital rights crowd. Obama’s campaign platform promised to ensure net neutrality — the principle that all Internet content must be treated equally by internet service providers, where no content is given preferential treatment by ISPs — if he were elected.

Oh, how things change!

Currently, net neutrality finds itself hanging by a thread, and the Obama administration and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) appear to be ready to cave to the mighty telecommunications industry, sacrificing a fair Internet for all.

A few weeks ago I wrote about a court ruling which had net neutrality activists in a frenzy. A federal judge ruled that the FCC had overstepped its authority in demanding that Comcast, one of the nation’s largest internet service providers (ISPs) treat all content equally. (Comcast had been throttling, or slowing down, certain content — particularly file-sharing sites.)

From that story:

The FCC, in enforcing net neutrality, was trying to ensure the Internet remains a level playing field, where no sites are on a “fast lane,” and no sites are on a “slow lane.” ISPs like Comcast have argued that controlling certain sites’ load times will prevent high-bandwidth users — like file-sharers — from clogging the web for everyone else. But it’s a slippery slope. (…)

Beyond preventing the FCC from enforcing equal load times for all websites, the court’s ruling could hamper the FCC’s ability to ensure that internet policy providers comply with digital privacy laws. Further, it could adversely impact the White House’s efforts to increase Americans’ access to high-speed Internet networks. Currently the United States lags far behind other developed nations in broadband speed and reach.

Net neutrality activists, however, were hopeful that if the FCC chose to reclassify internet services as as a telecommunications network — like telephones — they’d be able to regulate ISPs. And there was reason to be hopeful this would happen — the FCC chair, Julius Genachowski, is credited as a contributor to Obama’s tech platform, which included net neutrality, greater media diversity, and increased broadband access.

The best part of reclassification is that it only requires a simple-majority vote from the FCC’s board members — and would neatly sidestep all the bureaucratic red tape and telecoms’ big lobbying dollars in Congress.

Sadly though, a Washington Post article today indicates that Genachowski is expected to leave the broadband industry deregulated — as if under-regulation has ever proven itself a good idea. (Hello, recession of 2008?)

Josh Silver, head of Free Press, a media reform non-profit, put out the following statement on what this means: “If Chairman Genachowski fails to re-establish the FCC authority to protect Internet users, he will be allowing companies like Comcast, AT&T and Verizon to slow down, block or censor content at will. They can block any website, any blog post, any tweet, any outreach by a political campaign — and the FCC would be powerless to stop them….If the FCC fails to stand with the public, it will be the end of the Internet as we know it.”

Given that the Internet is either set to replace or already has replaced the telephone as the most important medium of communication, this is a very scary, Orwellian prospect.

20 comments on “Obama, FCC Poised to Cave to Telecoms & Turn Backs on Net Neutrality

  1. this is a tricky issue, but i’m not so sure this latest report equates to a “caving”–though a Chicken Little scenario is being forecast by consumer activists–just yet.

    After all, Genachowski has not yet responded officially to the court’s ruling, and at best, he is said to be leaning in favor of keeping deregulation in place –for now. the article also clearly states he has not made a final decision

    interestingly,in this video from april 25, genachowski talks about the importance of “empowering consumers”

    http://www.5min.com/Video/FCC-Chairman-Julius-Genachowski-on-Broadband-Speed-268834315

    and here’s the WashPo article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/02/AR2010050203262.html

    it doesnt name the sources it cites, but it does frame the issue, which is the FCC’s authority to regulate broadband.

    “The sources said Genachowski thinks “reclassifying” broadband to allow for more regulation would be overly burdensome on carriers and would deter investment. But they said he also thinks the current regulatory framework would lead to constant legal challenges to the FCC’s authority every time it attempted to pursue a broadband policy.”

    compare that with the AltraNet article, which states, “The best part of reclassification is that it only requires a simple-majority vote from the FCC’s board members — and would neatly sidestep all the bureaucratic red tape and telecoms’ big lobbying dollars in Congress.”

    but as the Post says,”a federal court decision has exposed weaknesses in the agency’s ability to be a strong watchdog over the companies that provide access to the Web. ”

    so, even if the Obama administration wanted to keep its campaign promises about NN, it cant do that because the FCC doesnt have the control of the broadband industry which would be necessary for this to happen. Obama could maybe make more public statements on the issue, but that’s about it.

    the bottom line here is that the FCC currently lacks the legal teeth needed to carry out its broadband agenda. only two things can change this: a Supreme Court decision or an Act of Congress.

    if Genachowski came out strongly on favor of reregulation at this time, it would be an empty gesture, since the FCC couldnt enforce its policy legally unless there were stronger federal guidelines.

    so it’s quite possible this could be a feint by Genachowski to avoid taking on the telcos directly until the FCC gains the legal authority to enact and police its policy, which they currently are unable to do. We’ll just have to wait and see; in the meantime, meda-rights groups need to remain vocal and active.

    Also, Davey makes a good point about orgs representing communities of color selling out. this is shameful and should not go unacknowledged. what needs to happen is that more pressure needs to be put on these orgs by the public to lobby not the FCC, but Congress itself to adopt strict policies which ensure Net Neutrality is upheld.

  2. E.. You have abit more confidence in Genachowski then I do.. I seen this movie a few times.. but some of what you suggest could happen.. The problem lies in these groups who I now know for fact are rolling with this to be vaunted gatekeepers.. Two have already stated that they ‘can pull strings and make stuff happen because trhey have inside knowledge etc..And from what I’m being told they’re pushing to make this happen.. It brings new relevence to them.. We’re not even talking about some of the bloggers and pundits that have just shown up singing the AT&T song and dance..

    The biggest concern that I have is that so many don’t understand that the slow down comes on the provider end..not consumer.. meaning that if I don’t pay to the ISP then they can block or slow my shit down.. In theory you can have a municipality owned ISP that decides it don’t want no sites from Cali..or NY.. or no Black sites.. so even if you have money to pay, the deregulation allows them to block or slow down…

    Its gonna be like China..

    But for the time being we’ll see if your confidence in Genachowski holds true.. I hope so.. I’m gonna put by cynicism on hold for now.. LOL

  3. dave, i’m not sure i would say i have “confidence” in Genachowski, just that i’m not sure anything definite can be inferred from the WashPo article.

    Certainly an article citing unnamed sources within the FCC indicating which way JG might lean isnt the same as an actual statement by JG himself, especially because the FCC spokesperson wont confirm or deny anything. So i’m wary of making a broad assumption at this point based on an anonymous source or sources.

    I would also say this report in and of itself doesnt indicate a change in Obama’s position on NN–there’s no statement by the White House on this–so it seems perhaps a bit premature to speculate this is in fact the case.

    I agree 100% with the concerns you express, however…the real shame here is that groups who should be advocating for an open and free internet for the people they claim to represent have apparently been paid off and/ or silenced, at a time when they need to be vocal about the immediate and larger implications of this issue.

    as far as the issue itself, i think the FCC may be in a position where they cant just call for strict regulation without the authority to enforce such regulation. it seems disingenuous that they would completely abandon 2 years of NN advocacy based on one court ruling without seeking an appeal or new legislation with more teeth.

    if JG is flip-flopping on comments he made just 2 weeks ago, it could just be a stall tactic intended to lull telcos into a false sense of security while other means are pursued. in other words, he could flip-flop back the other way just as easily.

    one possible scenario is that the FCC is waiting on the Obama administration to reiterate their commitment to this issue, and outline a possible strategy for ensuring the FCC does have the power to enforce its broadband agenda, which is going to involve tons of legal research.

    so we could just be playing a wait-and-see, cat-and-mouse game…

    what’s clear is that right now, Obama is concentrating on his nuclear agenda, which is a higher priority. one could argue that he needs to focus his attention instead on this important domestic policy issue, but then again, bolstering his standing in the international community by committing to non-proliferation agreements, reducing nuclear arsenals, dismantling weapons-grade uranium, and safely storing fuel rods–to prevent dirty bombs from being assembled– could earn him political capital he could then spend on NN, the FCC, and a broadband agenda.

    so it’s a complicated subject, to say the least.

    but thanks for bringing attention to this issue (once again) and for exposing the misguided actions of the NAACP, Urban League and other orgs, who appear to have sold us down the river where Internet streaming is concerned.

  4. Actually, from reading the documents it sounds like the organizations don’t know what the heck Net Neutrality is. It sounds like they just signed a document w/o actually understanding what it is.

  5. Exactly jermaine.. they did it at the bequest of AT&T.. and now have weighed in on something that could have long reaching consequences..

  6. Pingback: Stop the Cap! » The Rainbow Coalition Against Consumers: Minority Groups Still Filing Net Neutrality Opposition Comments

  7. well dave, hate to say i told you so but looks like i was right:

    “Today, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski announced that he would reclassify aspects of broadband as a Title II Universal Service. ”

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703961104575226583645448758.html?mod=WSJ_latestheadlines

    “WASHINGTON—In a move that will stoke a battle over the future of the Internet, the federal government plans to propose regulating broadband lines under decades-old rules designed for traditional phone networks.

    The decision, by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski, is likely to trigger a vigorous lobbying battle, arraying big phone and cable companies and their allies on Capitol Hill against Silicon Valley giants and consumer advocates.

    Breaking a deadlock within his agency, Mr. Genachowski is expected Thursday to outline his plan for regulating broadband lines. He wants to adopt “net neutrality” rules that require Internet providers like Comcast Corp. and AT&T Inc. to treat all traffic equally, and not to slow or block access to websites.

    The decision has been eagerly awaited since a federal appeals court ruling last month cast doubt on the FCC’s authority over broadband lines, throwing into question Mr. Genachowski’s proposal to set new rules for how Internet traffic is managed. The court ruled the FCC had overstepped when it cited Comcast in 2008 for slowing some customers’ Internet traffic.”

    so, again, while i applaud you for righteously pointing out that minority-advocacy orgs have sold out their constituients to broadband companies, i think your headline proclaiming that Obama and the FCC were “poised” to do the same was preemptive, speculative, assumptive, and ultimately, erroneous.

    Anyone can read the political tea leaves according to their own agenda, but, to be honest, Genachowski caving in the manner you expected just didnt make sense, given that his primary mission since becoming head of the FCC has been preserving Net Neutrality. He’s been fairly consistent in his actions and statements.

    To me, this shows the problems with relying on unquoted 3rd and 4th party sources, then applying one’s one interpretation–when that might not actually be the case.

    There was some political gamesmanship being played–as the WSJ noted, “Some senior Democratic lawmakers provided Mr. Genachowski with political cover for his decision Wednesday, suggesting they wouldn’t be opposed to the FCC taking the re-regulation route towards net neutrality protections.”

    So, the initial report you based your article (and headline) on now appears to be wishful thinking on the part of the telcos.

    This fight isnt over, not by a long shot, but the FCC’s agenda seems fairly clear: they are going to push for greater authority to carry out their broadband plan and protect consumers–exactly as i surmised. 🙂

  8. The title was the title of the article Erik.. that was the Washington Post.. not my title..I’m, glad he came around, but with a billion dollars spent in lobbying efforts.. I’ll believe it when I see it signed.. Second lets be clear about some of the sources.. In the case of free press story I know the sources.. they were fairly reliable..the reason why WP went with initial story was bc.. Genachowski was being told by folks he had to deal with that fighting the telecoms is not what needs to be done in this election yr.. The game plan was to stall it out until after 2010.. .the dilemna was they might not be enough Dems to make things happen after 2010..

    Now we I do know Move and Color of Change had mass calls in from Monday and Tuesday

    as for the Civil Rights groups on that list I know some of them personally and called them. In one case the staff had no idea that ‘they had filed on behalf of AT&T’.. thats a whole other story on to itself..Most brought into the bullshit being fed by other orgs..

    In other instances.. folks were already letting folks know they could negotiate for folks..and be BMOC..

    I’m glad this is turning out ok..

  9. “The title was the title of the article Erik.. that was the Washington Post.. not my title..”

    actually, dave, this is not true at all.

    your headline: “Obama, FCC Poised to Cave to Telecoms & Turn Backs on Net Neutrality”

    the WashPo’s headline: “FCC Chairman Genachowski expected to leave broadband services deregulated”

    there’s a huge difference in context…you throw Obama in there for no apparent reason, also you speculate that the FCC was abandoning its advocacy of NN with much stronger language than the print article used, which is misleading, if not entirely inaccurate (as it turned out).

    i’m not going to argue with you over semantics, but in your earlier post, you said “i seen seen this movie before,” which implies that it’s the same old story with no difference. Fortunately, that turned out not to be the case.

    I’m sure the calls may have had an effect, but the main reason for the outcome seems to be the support of Jay Rockefeller and other ranking Dems with influence on Capitol Hill.

    this just goes to what i was saying before about the political process and the fact that the FCC needs more teeth to enact its broadband plan. which is what many experts familiar with the issue have been saying all along.

    think about it…for Genachowski and the FCC to simply abandon their position because of one court ruling–just weeks after they released their broadband plan–would have been a major defeat for the Obama administration.

    I already posted the link to the CNET video which shows Genachowski advocating empowering consumers. And if you look at JG’s public comments over the past two years, he hasn’t shown any indication of caving. so you might as well admit that your Chicken Little prophecy was way off the mark.

    I dont think we’re out of the woods yet, and this is one step in a larger battle, but its clear we’re dealing with a much different FCC under Obama than in years past. at the very least,i think you have to give Obama and JG credit for willing to play political hardball and standing up to the telcos.

    as for the civil rights orgs, you’re right, that is a different story, and one that should be more widely known. if they are too naive to know who they are filing for, they probably shouldnt be filing for anyone in the first place.

    but i’m curious about this comment:

    “In other instances.. folks were already letting folks know they could negotiate for folks..and be BMOC..”

    ????
    huh?

    not sure what you mean by this. it’s a bit overly vague. which “folks” are you referring to?

  10. E-scribblah,

    A note of correction: The title of the article your referring is an alternet post by Daniela Perdomo not the Washington Post. Technically Davey is correct when he says that was not his title. You can check out the article on alternet titled, Obama, FCC Poised to Cave to Telecoms & Turns Back on Net Neutrality by Daniela Perdomo. You can’t talk about context if you don’t have the correct article and author!

  11. Thanks it was the alternet article.. In anycase.. The bottomline is this..
    1-Some of these Civil Rights groups are already trying to be the go between for ‘Black/ brown businesses and AT&T.. thats whats taking place.BMOC.. This has always been the case.. where some popular iconic figure becomes the go to person for making sure the community is taken care of…. So as far as some of the Civil Right groups are concerned.. There’s no need to worry.. because they are letting it be known within their inner circles.. They got it covered…
    Same old movie.. means I haven’t seen the telecoms opposed… The fact that it even became an argument is problematic..
    Anyway the train is moving.. we’ll see where it goes..

  12. “You can’t talk about context if you don’t have the correct article and author!”

    actually, i can talk about context. all day, if need be. i see your point, but dave used the same headline. he also says, “the FCC and Obama may finally be giving into the big telecom companies” in the first sentence…

    compared to the Alternet author, he goes light on Obama but the question is should the president have even be mentioned –in both articles–when in fact there has been no change in his administration’s policy over NN?

    if we’re going to talk about context, shouldnt we begin with facts and not assumptive speculation? this is just irresponsible reporting on Perdomo’s part to infer that Obama has abandoned his digital inclusion platform based on one article citing unnamed sources who turned out to be wrong…dave could have pointed this out, instead he co-signed on this saying the “alternet article explains it best.”

    so if we’re going to talk about context, we should differentiate between fact and opinion, right?

    i was actually on a panel with josh silver this past weekend and i didnt hear him criticize Obama…and as far as genachowski is concerned, it doesnt make sense he would release a broadband plan and immediately abandon it. if anything, he seems to be rolling up his sleeves, not caving.

    i dont want to belabor this any more, because i think the focus should be on a) mobilizing against these orgs and making sure they represent OUR best interests and b) making sure OUR community is informed about this issue and the implications of it.

    i can understand dave’s skepticism but as he says the train is moving. lets make sure it stops at our station.

  13. Escribblah,

    It’s your right to talk about context all day all long about anything. But, in this case you were taking Davey to task about an article and didn’t have the “FACTS” straight! You said, ” actually, dave, this is not true at all” and then go on to make a distinction between the two articles! You can make an argument about their reporting of the facts and citing unnamed sources, but your just as guilty for not fully reading who wrote what. Davey clearly referred to the alternet article, with the title I might add, in his article. Your points on net neutrality are conceded, I was just pointing out your incorrect points in your rebuttal to Davey. If the focus is on net neutrality and the FCC commissioner ruled in favor of net neutrality, why the need for I told you so in the first place? Obviously, the Chicken Little prophecy wasn’t taken into account by the decision makers!

  14. adekunle, let’s not confuse the issue here.

    trying to assign “guilt” to me is pointless and detracts from the real concern:

    neither dave nor the alternet article author had “the facts” straight as far as inserting Obama into the situation and relying on hearsay/speculation as gospel. i dont see how this is debatable.

    also, we are talking about two separate articles with the same headline, right?

    at the very least, this is confusing and/or misleading.

    why the need for i told you so? because i DID tell him so. LOL

    Davey still hasnt posted a correction or ran another post on Genachowski’s statement and the implications thereof. a simple “my bad” would suffice, but if its important to inform people about NN, isnt it also important to frame the issue accurately in the context of what is actually happening as far as the political process?

    look, NN is a complicated issue. i know Dave has been following the issue for years as have many media-advocacy types. i certainly appreciate his efforts to make people aware of the importance of this issue. but he does have a “spin” on the topic. i dont think that can be debated either.

    its one thing to have one’s own agenda and quite another to report misinformation. even if it wasnt dave’s original headline, it’s still not accurate. and for dave to use it without placing it in proper context is an example of spinning a topic to suit one’s own agenda. when the opposite of what is speculated actually happens, that raises a red flag, so to speak.

    that IS the point. hope that’s clear to you.

  15. Actually Eric.. You’re not the Net Neutrality police here.. I appreciate the banter, but you don’t have all the facts with respect to how what I know and don’t know a I wish you would stop inferring that I dont..’have all my facts’

    This isn’t a court of law.. nor is it some traditional outlet where they have a set of rules they subscribe to.. I don’t subscribe to all the same markers that you do.. In other words just because the NY Times, WP or some other outlet didn’t say what I said or Alternet said that it wasn’t true.

    Sometimes sources are unnamed for a reason.. not for hearsay, but because folks are speaking off record or in this case wanted to make sure that the word was put out and that folks were called to action.. Now one is free to debate or banter about what’s in a story..but really fam..I been doing this for a minute and can speak on this topic with the rest of the folks..You’re making this into some sort of debate which it really isn’t..

    You talk about confusing the issue -What’s confusing is you suggesting that I don’t know this topic. or don’t have all the facts as if there’s one place we all go to get facts.. . thats what’s confusing..

    1-The facts are these.. FCC and Obama were being pressured to not fight the telecoms..until after 2010 elections That’s a fact.. He was waffling..

    2-Its was strongly urged that folks hit the administration up and let them know this wasn’t cool.. This is why Move On and Color of change took their concerns directly to the White House.. There was a reason for that..

    3-My spin.. or take on Civil Rights groups was pretty much on point.I had a suspicion as to how and why this was playing out.. which was underscored after I made a couple of calls… 1- I’m pretty close with two of the groups that filed favorably for AT&T and got some insight as to why they did what they did.. I wasn’t in agreement, nor were some the key members of the org..2-One of these groups has already been letting it be known that they are the liason to the telecoms…

    4- We did a show the other day with Free Press who had similar experience and talked about this on the air.. My guest didn’t say the group’s name and publicly put them on blast because it would worsen some relationships and folks are still talking. Anyone who knows me well enough could probably figure it out who I’m talking about.. But naming names at this juncture was not necessary both for me or FP… and while Josh Silver may not have been critical of Obama on your panel.. Obama was criticized in the convos I had with them both on and off the air.. They communicated strong warning that he needs to be pushed..

    5-Lastly like any other person reporting on this I have names, numbers, insiders and a opinion on this..I do talk to folks. I’m not no rookie in this.. I wasn’t born yesterday..
    and I’m quite comfortable w/ backing up my position on this if someone I called out feels I was wrong…they can speak up. Everyone here is not a dummy.. Move On, Alternet, Color of Change, Free Press..No one was complaining or upset about this headline who is for NN but you which I don’t understand..

    6-One thing about Obama is that he needs to be pushed and often asked to be pushed..He responds to the push. We were told this on my last trip to the White House.. Don’t be shy-push him..With net neutrality he allowed this to get to a point of debate..and thats a very different position than when he first got on and said we didn’t have to worry about NN…He hasn’t made those calls to the CBC Congressional Black Caucus telling them to get on board…and I didn’t get the sense he picked up the phone to call any of those Civil Right groups to fall back..

    now If yous sources are different thats fine.. pen a story, put it out there like anyone else, or call me if you have serious concerns..again its not a big debate here..

    Hell maybe I spoke to the guy in the office of the FCC and they gave me a take on things.. and for all I know you might be cousin to the FCC chair and got some real insight.. If such is the case then lay it out there and let’s keep it moving..Damn fam I already said I hope your take on things were correct.. meaning that I clearly understanding that at the end of the day this is politics and with a billion dollars spent anything can and will happen..and we may have different angles on this..Shit I already said twice I’m glad the scenario you painted came out right.. I was never disputing it..

    Maybe it was all the calls to the white house that made them step up.. maybe they always intended to go forth .. I don’t know..For all I know maybe they just played AT&T made them give up all that loot while knowing they weren’t gonna budge on this issue.. .And as to why I have not put up the new info.. because I don’t trust it -I’m still nervous about it.. I have lot of folks who are just getting woke up to this and I in no shape or form wanna leave the impression its over.. and we can start doing victory laps..
    This is fluid..Let’s move on.

  16. Escribblah,

    Trying to assign guilt to you is pointless and detracts from the real concern and the need for I told you so adds to the real concern of net neutrality? The decision had already been made! Your need to be right detracts from the real concern. I agree with Davey, if you have all the political insight and answers about all political matters create your own website or show. Net neutrality gives you the license to do so and folks can get the unaulterated “truth” from you!

  17. @dave…
    LOL fam

    i dont want to keep going back and forth over the same ground, but i would like to clarify some points:

    1) i’m not trying to be the net neutrality police. i think that’s the FCC’s job. i’m just trying to have an open and honest dialogue about this issue as it evolves.
    2) never have i said you werent knowledgeable about this issue. in fact, you were the one who alerted me to it four years ago. you have also been way out in front on the civil rights groups getting paid off. props for that.
    3) a lot of this stuff which emerged out of this ‘banter’, such as your comments about the 2010 election and its impact on NN, would have added a lot of context to your article and explained the rationale behind the headline. maybe you and Obama have more in common than you think.
    4) as i said earlier, i’m sure the pressure from Move On and Color of Change helped, but the FCC still had to line up ranking Dem support to be able to take the position they did.
    5) once again, in no way shape or form am i saying the battle is over, although some media justice groups did in fact declare “victory”–on this one particular battle, which resulted in the reclassification of broadband–a major step, to be sure. this just paves the way for more battles, and we can expect the telcos to fight tooth and nail the entire rest of the way.
    6) i agree 100% that Obama and the FCC both need to be encouraged to do the right thing, and also that these civil rights orgs need to be reminded of who their constituencies are. i believe i said that earlier as well. where this becomes a slippery slope, however, is that criticism from the left of Obama and his administration can and does play into the hands of the far right, whose entire platform now seems to be criticizing the president.
    7) my main concern at this point is getting folks advocating for NN on the same page. i realize there are different tactics being employed to push the agenda forward on the political front, such as anonymous sources, and calls to action, etc. but the issue also needs to be advanced on the community front –people have to know what’s at stake.
    8) I agree with the alternet blogger about the “Orwellian prospect” of losing NN. that’s essentially what i said in 2008 in the piece i did for the FMC on NN. here’s an excerpt: “preserving Net Neutrality becomes tantamount to protecting Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Expression – probably the two most important principles of the Constitution and the First Amendment.”

    http://futureofmusic.org/article/article/net-neutrality-and-urban-music

    in that same article, i also praised Dave for consistently covering the issue, so it’s not like i havent given credit where credit is due. but i would have been remiss not to point out that the FCC didnt in fact cave on this issue.

    @adekunle: I wasnt really talking to you, i was talking to Dave, and you joined the convo. this is a bit tiresome to explain, but it’s not really so much about me saying i told you so to him as it is about the fact that the FCC showed some backbone. likewise, it’s not so much about my need to be right as the fact that (thankfully) i was right.

    i dont think anyone has all the answers, and clearly, the outcome wasnt certain, so it’s good the way it turned out like it did. for me at least, it’s helpful to know Genachowski’s previous comments on the issue, both recently, and over time.

    in some ways, the fact that we’re even having this debate points to the gray areas of Internet journalism–namely the opinion-heavy tone of blogs and how that intersects with the (ostensibly) more objective reportage of traditional media.

    lastly, i think many of us are guilty of talking shit on the internet, especially on public comment forums. that said, adekunle, i dont see how your comments added any substance to the discussion whatsoever.

  18. It’s not exactly “caving” if you consider the tough position the FCC is in. A good 90% of their revenue comes from fees and taxes on the big 3 or 4 providers in the nation. Think like a business: wouldn’t you “Cave” to the requests of your largest revenue-producing clients?

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