The sinister forces behind Net Neutrality (updated)

Thomas Lifson
Behind the innocent-sounding name and expressed aims of the FCC's Net Neutrality initiative, voted in by the Commission yesterday by a 3-2 partisan vote, is a very sinister leftist agenda. John Fund of the Wall Street Journal has done excellent work researching the origins of the policy, and what he has found is shocking.

The net neutrality vision for government regulation of the Internet began with the work of Robert McChesney, a University of Illinois communications professor who founded the liberal lobby Free Press in 2002. Mr. McChesney's agenda? "At the moment, the battle over network neutrality is not to completely eliminate the telephone and cable companies," he told the website SocialistProject in 2009. "But the ultimate goal is to get rid of the media capitalists in the phone and cable companies and to divest them from control."

Not having private companies in control means having the government in control. McChesney is pretty specific about what this means:

A year earlier, Mr. McChesney wrote in the Marxist journal Monthly Review that "any serious effort to reform the media system would have to necessarily be part of a revolutionary program to overthrow the capitalist system itself." Mr. McChesney told me in an interview that some of his comments have been "taken out of context." He acknowledged that he is a socialist and said he was "hesitant to say I'm not a Marxist."


For a man with such radical views, Mr. McChesney and his Free Press group have had astonishing influence. Mr. Genachowski's press secretary at the FCC, Jen Howard, used to handle media relations at Free Press. The FCC's chief diversity officer, Mark Lloyd, co-authored a Free Press report calling for regulation of political talk radio.

Free Press has been funded by a network of liberal foundations that helped the lobby invent the purported problem that net neutrality is supposed to solve.

Net Neutrality clearly is aimed at choking off the free flow of ideas that characterizes the internet, because that is an obstacle to a complete takeover of the media by leftists.

Courts have already ruled that the FCC has no power to regulate the internet, but in a lawless fashion, the FCC ignores the decision.

The GOP controlled House next year must hold hearings exposing these views and cut off all funding of the FCC until it revokes this decision.

Norah Peterson adds:

Regulating the internet may seem as backwards as the book burnings of past centuries, yet the motives behind such attempts to control the flow of ideas and information - as the FCC showed yesterday with the passage of a "net neutrality" rule - are essentially the same. Thomas Sowell has written:  
"Intellectuals and their followers have often been overly impressed by the fact that intellectuals tend, on average, to have more knowledge than other individuals in their society. What they have overlooked is that intellectuals have far less knowledge than the total knowledge possessed by the millions of other people whom they disdain and whose decisions they seek to override."

"Intellectuals" feel threatened by the internet because it has become the tool by which the "total knowledge possessed by the millions"  and is able to be shared on an international scale. People at an internet café in Macedonia can read your grandmother's cinnamon bread recipe and the whole world can watch as Iranians post YouTube videos of the violence that racked their country following the 2009 elections.  

The World Wide Web is truly an unprecedented phenomenon in history -- perhaps even more monumental than the invention of the printing press. Books can be burned, but ideas posted on the internet can remain there indefinitely.  

The internet gives a power to the masses which they have never before possessed and, as such, it is an influence that inevitably serves to decentralize the grasp of the intelligentsia worldwide.

David Jeffers adds:
 
The FCC not only ignored a court decision, it ignores its own purpose statement:

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent United States government agency. The FCC was established by the Communications Act of 1934 and is charged with regulating interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable. The FCC's jurisdiction covers the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. possessions.

The last time I looked in a dictionary the word independent was defined as "not influenced or controlled by others in matters of opinion or conduct; not subject to another's authority or jurisdiction; autonomous; not influenced by the thought or action of others."

However, in Mr. Fund's WSJ article we read:

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, a former law school friend of Mr. Obama, has worked closely with the White House on the issue. Official visitor logs show he's had at least 11 personal meetings with the president.

What possibly could have required the FCC Chairman to meet personally with the President 11 times? And is the White House willing to release any transcripts or information that was recorded during those meetings. Did the topic of net neutrality come up and if yes, why? I thought independence meant not being influenced by another's opinion or thought?

Are we to believe that Mr. Obama did not express his opinion or thoughts on the issue of net neutrality?

Behind the innocent-sounding name and expressed aims of the FCC's Net Neutrality initiative, voted in by the Commission yesterday by a 3-2 partisan vote, is a very sinister leftist agenda. John Fund of the Wall Street Journal has done excellent work researching the origins of the policy, and what he has found is shocking.

The net neutrality vision for government regulation of the Internet began with the work of Robert McChesney, a University of Illinois communications professor who founded the liberal lobby Free Press in 2002. Mr. McChesney's agenda? "At the moment, the battle over network neutrality is not to completely eliminate the telephone and cable companies," he told the website SocialistProject in 2009. "But the ultimate goal is to get rid of the media capitalists in the phone and cable companies and to divest them from control."

Not having private companies in control means having the government in control. McChesney is pretty specific about what this means:

A year earlier, Mr. McChesney wrote in the Marxist journal Monthly Review that "any serious effort to reform the media system would have to necessarily be part of a revolutionary program to overthrow the capitalist system itself." Mr. McChesney told me in an interview that some of his comments have been "taken out of context." He acknowledged that he is a socialist and said he was "hesitant to say I'm not a Marxist."


For a man with such radical views, Mr. McChesney and his Free Press group have had astonishing influence. Mr. Genachowski's press secretary at the FCC, Jen Howard, used to handle media relations at Free Press. The FCC's chief diversity officer, Mark Lloyd, co-authored a Free Press report calling for regulation of political talk radio.

Free Press has been funded by a network of liberal foundations that helped the lobby invent the purported problem that net neutrality is supposed to solve.

Net Neutrality clearly is aimed at choking off the free flow of ideas that characterizes the internet, because that is an obstacle to a complete takeover of the media by leftists.

Courts have already ruled that the FCC has no power to regulate the internet, but in a lawless fashion, the FCC ignores the decision.

The GOP controlled House next year must hold hearings exposing these views and cut off all funding of the FCC until it revokes this decision.

Norah Peterson adds:

Regulating the internet may seem as backwards as the book burnings of past centuries, yet the motives behind such attempts to control the flow of ideas and information - as the FCC showed yesterday with the passage of a "net neutrality" rule - are essentially the same. Thomas Sowell has written:  
"Intellectuals and their followers have often been overly impressed by the fact that intellectuals tend, on average, to have more knowledge than other individuals in their society. What they have overlooked is that intellectuals have far less knowledge than the total knowledge possessed by the millions of other people whom they disdain and whose decisions they seek to override."

"Intellectuals" feel threatened by the internet because it has become the tool by which the "total knowledge possessed by the millions"  and is able to be shared on an international scale. People at an internet café in Macedonia can read your grandmother's cinnamon bread recipe and the whole world can watch as Iranians post YouTube videos of the violence that racked their country following the 2009 elections.  

The World Wide Web is truly an unprecedented phenomenon in history -- perhaps even more monumental than the invention of the printing press. Books can be burned, but ideas posted on the internet can remain there indefinitely.  

The internet gives a power to the masses which they have never before possessed and, as such, it is an influence that inevitably serves to decentralize the grasp of the intelligentsia worldwide.

David Jeffers adds:
 
The FCC not only ignored a court decision, it ignores its own purpose statement:

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent United States government agency. The FCC was established by the Communications Act of 1934 and is charged with regulating interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable. The FCC's jurisdiction covers the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. possessions.

The last time I looked in a dictionary the word independent was defined as "not influenced or controlled by others in matters of opinion or conduct; not subject to another's authority or jurisdiction; autonomous; not influenced by the thought or action of others."

However, in Mr. Fund's WSJ article we read:

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, a former law school friend of Mr. Obama, has worked closely with the White House on the issue. Official visitor logs show he's had at least 11 personal meetings with the president.

What possibly could have required the FCC Chairman to meet personally with the President 11 times? And is the White House willing to release any transcripts or information that was recorded during those meetings. Did the topic of net neutrality come up and if yes, why? I thought independence meant not being influenced by another's opinion or thought?

Are we to believe that Mr. Obama did not express his opinion or thoughts on the issue of net neutrality?