Dover Bitch

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The McCurry Repor(t)

Is Mike McCurry trying to outdo Stephen Colbert's character with his own absurd and uninformed arguments?

On net neutrality, I feel like screaming "puh-leeeze." The First Amendment of the Internet is under assault!

Oh yeah, how many of you lifted a finger to protect the First Amendment when the Washington Post and other "MSM" cited it to ferret out the truth about WMD and the wars inside the U.S. intelligence community over the pre-Iraq war (and now pre-Iran war)? (And don't lecture me about how they failed to do their job -- I have had Pultizer Prize winning reporters tell me that they feel intimindated and they lack public support. Of course they -- and their editors-- feel that way. Most of the blogosphere spends hours making them feel that way).

Ah! Nothing like beginning an argument by implying that people haven't earned the right to express concerns about the erosion of a guaranteed right to express themselves. If that isn't ironic enough for you, consider the spectacular irony in the fact that what McCurry is arguing against -- Net Neutrality -- is the very thing that makes it a mathematical certainty that any generalization or assumption he could have made about his audience would be impossible to defend. It's just icing on the cake that his first assumption of a blog-o-sphere audience is that it is only a minority of us who care about a free press.

If McCurry wants to talk about the Washington Post and Americans doing what we can to defend our rights, fine, he can take a good look at this chart on the Washington Post's website. He may notice that the first time since the 2004 election that the president's approval rating was eclipsed by public disapproval of him was when the New York Times reported that he's been spying on us. We take our rights seriously, despite the fact that the media is too busy appeasing the power players to get that.

DB just doesn't know what to make of this sentence: "I have had Pultizer Prize winning reporters tell me that they feel intimindated and they lack public support."

Here's a tip for all reporters: When your phone rings, look at the caller ID. If it's Ken Mehlman's phone number, don't answer it. The people who want you to "ferret out the truth" have been here the whole damned time. If you can't find us, how the hell do you expect to find out any of Dick Cheney's secrets?

As Ricky Roma said in Glengarry Glen Ross, "Your excuses are your own!"

Colbert stood right in front of 2,600 witnesses -- all of the nation's top journalists -- looked President Bush directly in the eye and pointed out he had no clothes. Then he made him sit there for 10 minutes in his naked anger, watching a video of Colbert fumbling around for his keys and backing out of a parking space.

So how did the "MSM" react, Mike? Did they realize that their intimidation is a function of their own self-image? No, they pretended it never even happened. They barely reported it. They said he wasn't "funny."

You want to blame bloggers for "making them feel that way?" Give me a break. Tell your Pultizer [sic] Prize winning friend to grow some huevos.

The Internet is not a free public good. It is a bunch of wires and switches and connections and pipes and it is creaky. You all worship at Vince Cerf who has a clear financial interest in the outcome of this debate but you immediately castigate all of us who disagree and impune our motives. I get paid a reasonable but small sum to argue what I believe. How many of the net neuts out there are honest about the financial resources and special interests behind your side of the argument? Do you really believe this is good v. evil or just an honest disagreement about what will make the 'net flourish and prosper? What do you make of David Farber's recent caution about the unintended consequences of regulating the Internet?

Well, Mike, what do you think of "The Singularity Is Near" by Ray Kurzweil? Pick up a copy and then tell us that there's anything that can stand in the way of the continued growth of the Internet.

And again, stop assuming things about your readers. You haven't got a clue what you are talking about.

Your claim that the Internet is not a free public good ignores the fact that it was initially developed with public money, has been seeded with millions of pieces of public information and those wires and switches are running across public land. Proponents of Net Neutrality aren't calling for "regulation" of the Internet. The alternative is to allow corporations to regulate it and we're not naive enough to want that.

Some of us remember what the Internet was like in 1993-1994. When people on Compuserve were in a different world that those on AOL. We don't want to go back there, no matter how "creaky" you think the Internet has gotten in the six wonderful years since Bush has been at our helm. The idea of choosing between baseball and football, for example, when you sign up with an ISP stinks. Don't think it can happen? Try listening to baseball on Sirius or football on XM Radio.

Won't it be great when you can't send an evite to all your friends for your wedding shower because some of them have gmail accounts or yahoo accounts? Won't it be fantastic when your local ISP decides what information or opinions are acceptable, in their world view, for you to see?

I am against giving the FCC and other government regulators the power to decide how the Internet will build out in the future. That is what you net neuts are for. The Internet has worked absent regulation and now you want to introduce it for a solution to what? What content is being denied? What service is being degraded? What is not right with the Internet that you are trying to cure?

That's exactly the point. The Internet is functioning as it should. Could it be faster? Yes, and it will be. Could it be available in more places? Yes, and it will be. Do corporations involved in laying the next generation of fiber optic cables deserve the right to be able to fundamentally change the Internet so that they can decide what we can access? HELL NO!

Instead, you have some myth about dangers ahead if someone actually asks (horrors!) that we pay for the billions it will take to make the Internet to work in the decades ahead? Do you want to pay or do you want to make the giant content companies that will be streaming video and data rich services to pay? I'd rather have a robust Internet that can handle the volume of traffic that we will put on it in the near future rather than an public Internet where we all wait in line for the next porno-spammer to let his content go before we get to have arguments like this.

This is not an issue where there is a progressive, pro-little guy, pro-Dem stand versus the big bad companies that pay big bad lobbyists (what a joke you think I am one of them). This is a clear disagreement on principle about what will get us the next generation of the internet that will work for all of us.

Any one want to have a rational conversation about that or do you want to rant and rave and provide a lot of May Day rhetoric that is not based in any fact?

Did you really just ask "Do you want to pay or do you want to make the giant content companies that will be streaming video and data rich services to pay?"

And then immediately follow it up with "This is not an issue where there is a progressive, pro-little guy, pro-Dem stand versus the big bad companies that pay big bad lobbyists?"

What a dreadful, insulting and poorly spelled post that was. And DB will still fight hard so that everybody on earth has a right to read it... no matter what ISP they're stuck with in their neighborhood.