We knew this was coming. Within the last couple of weeks, both the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Election Commission declared their intention to regulate the Internet. Fascists always explain their actions as efforts to either make something more efficient, “fair,” or to supposedly “protect” their target. Sometimes they simply lie, like saying they’re nationalizing health insurance to make it more affordable and to increase access to health care.
Now, with the feds’ latest effort, their new slogan might as well be, “If you like your Internet, you can keep your Internet.” Make no mistake: The Internet is under assault and saving it is up to us.
Democrats and their liberal sycophants have been contemplating for years how best to smash the Internet. Open discussion among the great unwashed masses poses a threat to the superiorly educated and groomed establishment. First, it was the magnificence of the so-called Fairness Doctrine, which made free speech on the radio impossible. President Reagan’s reversal of that Orwellian control mechanism made talk radio possible (to say nothing of the likely increase of gastrointestinal disorders among liberals).
Even prior to that massive win for the First Amendment, the left had succeeded at co-opting the legacy media by swamping the staff and reporters with ideological true believers, making newspapers and the broadcast networks nothing more than PR agencies for the leftist agenda.
Think about it: The sheeple emerging from the liberal academies around the country in the 1960s and ‘70s didn’t move to the countryside to smoke pot and raise puppies. No, they went into media. They became writers, reporters and television news anchors.
Never mind that by the 21st century, their blind partisan allegiance was destroying their industry. I’m sure they feel getting Barack Obama elected to two terms as president made it all worthwhile.
But now they want more. The left’s relevance relies on controlling the public discussion. Bill Clinton learned of the Internet’s importance when the legacy media, via Newsweek, “held the [Monica Lewinsky] story” according to Michael Isikoff, their reporter at the time, in comments reported by the Weekly Standard.
Then some guy with a website called “Drudge” made sure the American people were informed about the reckless actions of a self-obsessed president.
Newsweek? Now defunct. Drudge? More powerful than ever. And that’s the problem the feds want to fix. The Internet must be killed because it dares to keep turning on the light in a room the left prefers remain dark.
The past two weeks reveal the government’s frantic, and determined, effort to take control of the Internet. Using the pretext of “net neutrality,” that is regulating Internet service providers and the speed rate at which they provide Internet service, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler announced the FCC was claiming the power to regulate the Internet like a utility service.
This would be done to make the Internet more “fair,” of course. But the truth of the matter is it’s an excuse to essentially nationalize the Internet. The moment that’s accepted, all bets are off, and the Internet becomes, well, Newsweek.
Reinforcing the suspicion that every American should have about this unprecedented action is the fact that Mr. Wheeler is keeping the 332-page document outlining his plan secret from the American public. He released a four-page summary with major points, but refuses to release the full document to the public.
That’s right, they’re not allowing us to see it. Verge.com reports on the concern of Ajit Pai, a fellow FCC commissioner:
“The American people are being misled about President Obama’s plan to regulate the Internet,” he said in a statement, suggesting that Mr. Obama had pressured Mr. Wheeler into reclassification. “Last week’s carefully managed rollout was designed to downplay the plans of a massive intrusion in the Internet economy … . I have now read the 332-page plan. It is worse than I had imagined,” said Mr. Pai. In particular, he warned that reclassifying broadband would open the door to taxes and onerous regulations, and give the FCC “broad and unprecedented discretion to micromanage the Internet.”
This was the first shot across the bow. Within a week of Mr. Wheeler’s remarkable effort to pull an “Obamacare” on the Internet, the Federal Election Commission came through with the second volley.
“Democrats on the Federal Election Commission (FEC) signaled Wednesday that they are prepared to forge ahead with new regulations on bloggers and others using the Internet to support candidates and influence public policy, the Washington Examiner reports. Supporters of Internet regulation urged the FEC to put together new rules to require even third-party Internet-based groups to reveal donors, a move that would reverse a 2006 decision to keep the agency’s hands off the Internet,” according to Newsmax.com.
FEC Chairwoman Ann Ravel has said publicly she wants to control political information on the Internet. Of course they do. There’s another election coming up and they must act quickly to do everything possible to eliminate the ability of those who do not pledge allegiance to the liberal cause to be heard.
I don’t have much faith in the Republicans stopping this Democrat power grab, so this once again leaves the average person as the last line of defense against more federal overreach meant to silence and control the increasingly pesky, conservative and vocal citizen.
• Tammy Bruce is a radio talk-show host, author and Fox News contributor.