FCC aims to reinstate net neutrality

Originally published at: FCC aims to reinstate net neutrality | Boing Boing


Oh! Now do the fairness doctrine!


Let’s never forget one of the main facilitators of the current situation, Ajit “Idjit” Pai.



Hope Ajit Pai chokes on a big swig of whatever’s in his huge novelty Reese’s mug.


But the tubes! Won’t someone think of the tubes?!?!


I somehow suspect that, at this point, that would become a mess of larges swaths of the country suing each other over whether accuracy implies fairness, how accurate you need to be, whose viewpoints need to be considered in determining fairness, and how to not treat it as mandating bothsidesism. I’d love to find out I’m wrong or hear a way to avoid that, though.


Just imagine - we didn’t have to consider any of that ridiculous nonsense before the fairness doctrine was killed.


It worked for nearly 40 years… Honestly, I’m really over the whole “it’s too hard, we can’t do it” mindset that seems to have pervaded our body-politic lately. Just because something is difficult, doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Just because there will be push back, doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Just because we have real problems in our institutions, doesn’t mean it can’t be done. It is the RIGHT thing to do, and it should be done.

If we rejected things out of hand in this country, because we might get push back, we would never have the New Deal, we would never have gone to the moon, we would not have had an end to slavery or Jim Crow, women wouldn’t be voting, etc, etc… We can do the hard shit, and we should not let the rise of a cynical, nihilistic movement that is seeking to destroy everything around us be an impediment to progress. :woman_shrugging:


coca cola coke GIF


Remember when the USA chose to do things not because they are easy, but because they are hard? Because there are goals that are worth it? Challenges that are to be accepted, not to be postponed?


I’m not saying we can’t or shouldn’t do it, in fact I agree with the idea. I only mean that we’d need to do it differently. The old justifications of limited bandwidth and licensing maybe wouldn’t stand up to first amendment scrutiny anymore. The number of viewpoints we consider worthy of respect and representation is much wider than it used to be, in many cases for good reason, but in a way that needs to be addressed with a better definition of what we’re trying to require than we needed in the past. The number of already-existing businesses that would need to significantly change their operations is much larger than it was at the dawn of broadcasting, and even though that would be a very good thing on balance, all of those companies could have standing to demand compensation for such a major rules change.

Who said otherwise? :woman_shrugging: My point was that it’s well past time to address this issue, which has led to the rise of fascism, not that it should look exactly the same as it did before.


I would be happy if we could simply apply something like truth in advertising.

A company can already get in trouble for making false claims about a product. Nobody goes out and says it’s their first amendment right to make those false claims in advertising.

They should do the same with “News” programs and “News” channels. Give the label “News” a clear defined meaning. Just like we do with other advertising and product terms. Things labeled “News” should be fact based and never opinion. People should be able to sue if something is labeled “News” and does not meet a defined “News” standard.

It should be fine then to have a broadcast/cable/streaming/whatever channel that is not labeled “News” that does not need to meet that standard in most of it’s programs. Programs on that network that are labeled “News” should need to meet that requirement then. Meaning, CBS could show whatever it wants, but when it’s the “CBS Nightly News”, clearly labeled “News”, that should meet the “News” standard.

Something like “MSNBC News” where the entire thing is labeled “News” should meet the “News” standard in most of it’s programing. When they want to run an opinion or entertainment show, it should be clearly labeled “Not News” or whatever technical term tells everyone it’s just BS and not meeting the “News” standard. A specific term that is the reverse of “News” since “News” is in the core name.

This would solve the “‘FOX News’ Entertainment” confusion. Where it’s impossible to tell what is news and what is entertainment and does not need to meet a News definition. As they would be forced to clearly state which is which, even if everything was “Not News”.

It’s possible this would just lead to a world where nothing is labeled News anymore. But, I doubt it. I think there would be organizations that would rise to the level and prosper in a market where News had to meet a standard.

Much like I cannot advertise and say I’m selling oranges and then deliver apples. I should not be able to advertise and say I’m delivering News and then only ship BS instead.


… why just most though

We don’t have to equivocate and compromise in our hypothetical proposals in our own heads

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There’s all kinds of programing and content on television that isn’t news. Even on news channels.

It’s not news, but use the weather channel as an example. They show content that isn’t weather. I don’t think we should dictate that they can only show weather.

In my CBS example, they show all kinds of entertainment content that is clearly not news. It shouldn’t have to meet a news standard. Of course, nobody thinks NCIS Something is delivering news now. Is “Face the Nation” a “News” program that should meet some standard, or is it an entertainment program that presents opinions about things going on? I don’t have a problem if they want to say that “Face the Nation” is just BS story time. That should be their first amendment right. My problem is when they say “Face the Nation” is a “News” program but the content is just BS story time.

In the MSNBC example, if “PoliticsNation” wants to label itself news and meet a standard, great. If they want to label themselves “Not News” and everyone would know it’s all just BS, fine. While I would prefer that it meets a news standard, that’s their right to just be BS. Just don’t lie to me and tell me the BS is News.

Their should be truth in advertising, “News” could be turned into a regulated content term that has specific meaning and standards. Then, leave it up to speakers to decide if they want to be “News” and meet that standard, and the confidence (plus risk) that comes with meeting that standard. While if others want to avoid that standard, it should be clear that they’re not really “News”.

That feels like a better outcome than trying to present “both sides” on every topic. Not every topic has two sides. Plus, it would be nice to know someone has liability for claiming to meet a News standard but just blowing smoke up my…




It’s good to see that the depredations of vandals and looters in government can still be undone in the U.S., especially on such a vital issue.

Beware, though: if von Clownstick gets in again his minions already have a plan to make sure this kind of thing won’t happen again.


Now, now… we all know that both sides are exactly the same! /s


“This is a clarion call to come to Washington,” he said. “People need to lay down their tools, and step aside from their professional life and say, ‘This is my lifetime moment to serve.’”

Watch this be another grift on top of their original intent.

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