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January 21 2011

Who is Behind Net Neutrality Regulations?

The day after the FCC ruled to impose net neutrality regulations on broadband providers, John Fund published an excellent piece of investigative reporting in the Wall Street Journal, explaining that the ruling presents the outcome of a well-organized effort by left-leaning groups to "get rid of the media capitalists in the phone and cable companies."  

Fund highlighted that net neutrality, the brainchild of Robert Mc Chesney who wrote in the Marxist journal Monthly Review "any serious effort to reform the media system would have to necessarily be part of a revolutionary program to overthrow the capitalist system itself," was heavily funded by some of the very same major foundations involved in the campaign-finance reform movement, such as Pew Charitable Trusts (Pew) for example.

Scott Walter sheds further light on this issue, by expanding on Fund's article and responding to Pew's defense, in his piece at the Philanthropy Daily. I recommend that you read the whole piece, but here are a few highlights:

Remember when Pew and some of its friends got caught with their hands in the cookie jar a few years ago on the issue of campaign finance reform? Now "net neutrality," another dubious "reform," is in the news, and once again Pew is under fire.

In the earlier controversy, Sean Treglia, a former Pew staffer, explained to some journalists in 2004 at USC's Annenberg School of Journalism how Pew and 7 other left-of-center foundations created a snowball of research, "grassroots" groups, and more, all in order to fool Congress and the courts into imagining that Americans believed they had too much freedom in political campaigns and a government crack-down was needed. ...

[...] Pew's tentacles are entwined in the "media reform" movement.

This is an important issue in so far as it highlights that net neutrality regulations, far from responding to a consumer interest to being protected from alleged discriminatory behavior by broadband providers, is much more about a group of well-funded, well-organized donors shoving their political agenda down the throats of the American people.

I look forward to reading part 2 of Scott Walter's piece, titled Pew's Non-Neutrality, which will discuss the "larger issues [that, what left-of-center donors are trying to do to Internet speech,] raises about a big and powerful part of the philanthropic sector." 

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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