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NY Times net neutrality editorial -- huh? fix potential problems before real problems?

Remarkably, with all the real and pressing problems in the country, the New York Times Editorial Page wastes ink pushing a special interest potential problem, net neutrality, in its editorial today: "Democracy and the Web."

  • The editorial's first few sentences show the writer's massive disconnect with reality.
    • "Users of the Internet take for granted their ability to access all Web sites on an equal basis."... [bold added]
      • In their opening sentence, the New York Times editorialist concedes there is no current problem.
    • "That could change, however, if Internet service providers started discriminating among content, to make more money or to suppress ideas they do not like." [bold added]
      • "That could change..." Have they thought this so-called democracy-logic through?
        • Do true democracies, which protect freedoms and respect due process, have a hair-trigger to legislate preemptively to ban potential problems?
        • Or do true democracies respect the freedoms of everyone, until there is real evidence of a problem warranting or meriting the rescission of existing freedoms?   
      • "...if Internet service providers started..."[bold added] Did it ever occur to them that the reason that this problem has not happened is that this type of hypothetical bahavior would be bad for business and create reasons for customers to choose to take their business elsewhere?
    • "Congress has delayed on this important issue too long and should pass net neutrality legislation now."
      • If this issue was truly so important, why did it take its supporters two-thirds of this Congress to even introduce legislation?
      • And once introduced, if it was so important:
        • Why does the Markey bill HR5353 have only 11 cosponsors, or 2.5% of House Members?
        • Why does the Conyers Bill HR5994 have only 2 cosponsors, or .5% of House Members?
      • Is this potential problem more urgent than the real problems that Congress is addressing like the economy, the Iraq War, the mortgage crisis, gas prices, health care, the environment, etc.?
        • Doesn't anyone at the New York Times editorial Board have some perspective and judgement to discern that this issue is not what it has been represented as, and that it really is a special interest business dispute that is neither sound Democratic policy nor sound Republican policy?   

The editorial's last sentence is also way off the mark. 

  • "It is the job of Congress to protect the Internet’s democratic form."
  • Obviously, none of the special interests that pushed the New York Times Editorial board to write this special interest fluff piece bothered to tell them what Congress put into law in Section 230 of the 1996 Telecom Act as to what Congress' "job" really is related to the Internet.
    • "It is the policy of the United States to preserve the vibrant and competitive free market that presently exists for the Internet and other interactive computer services, unfettered by Federal and State regulation."
  • If it is the New York Times editorial view that this free-market Internet policy needs to be changed and Congress' new job needs to be to preemptively regulate the Internet, they should be more open and transparent in their motives and not hide behind the bogus "Democracy and the Web" rhetoric of their special interest friends.