Wow – what a display of – what? sexism? Republican registration? media bias? doing the dirty work for Comcast? all of the above? by Matt Lauer Wednesday night in the inappropriately named Commander-in-Chief Forum.
The night begins with a 17 minute attack on the Clinton emails which had nothing, zero, nada to do with the supposed reason for the forum. As if that wasn’t enough, the email controversy was even dismissed by congressional Republicans months ago after wasting tens of millions of dollars and countless hours of valuable congressional time on the matter. If a person didn’t know better they could only guess that Matt Lauer was following orders from the folks who sign his checks at Comcast.
As if Lauer’s disgraceful display with Clinton weren’t enough to give a clue who NBC was rooting for, his bootlicking display with Donald Trump was worse. After interrupting Clinton time after time, Lauer asks Trump open ended questions over and over and then lets Trump wander way off the topic.
If we did not have the internet that is pretty much what we citizens would be left to digest. That plus the cable newser followups that added little to the mix. Since corporations own and control a high percentage of all our media – TV, radio, magazines, newspapers – there is but one major media where Americans can find a true diversity of opinion. That is the internet, but only so long as it remains neutral. The internet is so diverse that anyone with access to the net can even contribute their opinion.
The neutral internet of today is the equivalent of the back room printing presses that kept colonists informed before and during our revolution. With the printing press common people had access to a way to disseminate news and opinion, to get the word out about meetings and to let the populace know of the atrocities of an unaccountable government. This held true throughout following eras such as the abolitionist movement and the fight against Jim Crow.
A neutral internet and its spawn, the social media, is the electronic heir to the printing press in the back room in previous ages. Wednesday night the heir to the printing press once again proved a worthy successor as the shill job done by Lauer was hammered from many corners. Even the wealthy and well connected who are so used to having their way can’t simply shut down their cities on the open internet.
And that is a major sticking point for those who currently have the power and money to shape public opinion. They can’t control a neutral internet. They can’t control if people like you and I state that Matt Lauer stunk Wednesday. Nor can they stop us if we suggest that his performance may be tied to his paycheck. Comments like that won’t make it into their newspapers and TV programs.
If you have forgotten, the model for the internet that is favored by the those who want to control it is the current cable and satellite TV industry. For a price you get a package of pre-selected channels. For more money you get “better” channels. For a bundle that no one can afford you get pretty open access. Think of the internet where major liberal sites could be put behind paywalls where the price is simply too steep for most citizens.
It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to see how easily a few internet “gatekeepers” could easily manipulate your choices. Want to get to Dailykos? You have to pick up an opinion package that includes Breitbart, Drudge, Redstates and Worldnetdaily. And then Dailykos may have continuing outages.
Ending net neutrality is one of Comcast’s major goals. They are not the only one by far. AT&T, Verizon, Time-Warner etc. – pretty much anyone who has any corner of the telecommunications industry – is buying congress critters and using our courts to end neutrality.
So what kind of congress critters do they invest in? Taking a little peek on Open secrets.org we see that Comcast and Verizon are Chuck Grassley’s top two contributors. Wasn’t it Donald Trump who said a year ago that he gave money expecting favors:
The US is already well behind the rest of the world in the internet revolution. Vote for Donald Trump and Chuck Grassley and watch access to websites you take for granted disappear behind expensive paywalls as they deliver a huge gift to their “donors.”
We were reminded the other day in articles from dailykos and hullabaloo that the reason that blogs took off and for many have become their first source of news is because the media was doing and continues to do such a crappy job. From Digby on Hullabaloo:
When I first started writing online many moons ago, the issue that drove me to it was the fact that we were dealing with impeachment and a stolen election substantially because the media was putting their thumbs on the scales in our politics in ways that enabled a malevolent right wing force to take advantage. I never thought they were right wing themselves, simply that they found it easier to capitulate to the right’s pressures and were far too willing to chase the narratives the right helpfully provided for them. This helped pave the way for some horrifying disasters — the Iraq war and the financial crash among them. It has certainly prevented real progress and led to cynicism. And they simply don’t seem to be able to see it. (What’s even more depressing is the fact that so many people who are able to see media malpractice when it comes to government malevolence can’t see it when it comes to political coverage.)
So we certainly do not want the internet in the hands of those who want to control the news and dish out crappy little portions to us. Vote for Trump, vote for Grassley and sit back and watch your internet disintegrate.