Daily Show alum John Oliver has turned his keen wit toward net neutrality. In a scathing 13-minute segment of Last Week Tonight, Oliver astutely points out that the cable companies are winning the net neutrality fight by making it so boring that it slips right under the average person’s radar. Hence, instead of “net neutrality,” the term the activists should really be using is “preventing cable company f**kery.”
Oliver on the Federal Communications Commissions Chairman Tom Wheeler’s two-tiered internet: "If we let cable companies offer two speeds of service, they won’t be Usain Bolt and Usain Bolt on a motor bike. They’ll be Usain Bolt and Usain Bolted to an anchor." On trusting the cable companies’ promises to protect the open internet: "Let me remind you, they also say that they’ll be at your house between 2 and 6 tomorrow afternoon, and does any part of you really expect them to f**king turn up?"
And did you know that Comcast is second only to Northrup Grumman in campaign contributions to members of Congress? And that Comcast and Time-Warner, the two cable companies who want to merge to form one even larger cable company, both rank at the very bottom of customer satisfaction surveys?
Perhaps the funniest part of the segment, however, is the call to action at the end, when Oliver exhorts Internet comment trolls to flood the FCC with pro-net-neutrality comments.
Good evening, monsters. This may be the moment you’ve spent your whole lives training for. […] For once in your life, we need you to channel that anger, that badly spelled bile that you normally reserve for unforgivable attacks on actresses you seem to think have put on weight or politicians you disagree with or photos of the ex-girlfriend getting on with her life or non-white actors being cast as fictional characters. […] We need you to get out there and for once in your lives focus your indiscriminate rage in a useful direction. Seize your moment, my lovely trolls, turn on caps lock and fly, my pretties! Fly! Fly! Fly!
It seems to be working. If you go to the FCC.gov comments page, “Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet” has over 45,000 comments. In fact, unless you click in the wee small hours of the morning, you often can’t even get to the actual comments page at all. (If you can’t, you can still email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Don’t forget to get your comment in, too!