Jump to content
The Education Forum
  • Announcements

    • Evan Burton

      OPEN REGISTRATION BY EMAIL ONLY !!! PLEASE CLICK ON THIS TITLE FOR INFORMATION REQUIRED FOR REGISTRATION!:   06/03/2017

      We have 5 requirements for registration: 1.Sign up with your real name. (This will be your Username) 2.A valid email address 3.Your agreement to the Terms of Use, seen here: http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=21403. 4. Your photo for use as an avatar  5.. A brief biography. We will post these for you, and send you your password. We cannot approve membership until we receive these. If you are interested, please send an email to: edforumbusiness@outlook.com We look forward to having you as a part of the Forum! Sincerely, The Education Forum Team
Douglas Caddy

How will gutting Net Neutrality affect the Education Forum?

Recommended Posts

I recently read Donald Gibson’s “Battling Wall Street: The Kennedy Presidency”. Gibson usefully articulates a long-standing division in the American body-politic centered on the “proper role” of the federal government intervening and regulating business interests and the economy. He places JFK on the Hamiltonian side of the debate: that the government has a responsibility to advance policy which steers the economy in general towards development priorities which ensure the greater good of the populace . The opposite point of view, dominant within Wall Street and the business establishment, is that government should have little decision making role in shaping or regulating the economy. This was a serious fault line during Kennedy’s presidency. The Net Neutrality debate involves world views which reflect the above divisions.

In 1996, as the Clinton Administration moved to gut rules controlling consolidated ownership of media corporations, critics complained that the new rules would lead to media monopolies and a loss of diversity of opinion. Proponents claimed that consumers would be empowered. Clearly, twenty years afterwards, the critics have been proven correct as America’s media landscape has become corporatized, monopolized and uniform. Proponents of the gutting of net neutrality likewise make vague claims that consumers will ultimately benefit, but it is hard not to see that the critics will eventually be proven correct. Large interests will understand their "ownership” of the internet portals will allow them to decide the information available through such portals. The ability to throttle alternative points of view on controversial issues will exist and will be taken advantage of.

For entrenched interests, the problem with JFK was that his policies - including using the power of the federal government for the greater good - were popular and the prospect of continued electoral victories seemed ensured. Hamilton, back in his day, was equally detested by his political opponents, and was actually killed by one of them in a duel. Aaron Burr’s pistols which helped win that particular battle apparently ended up as a prized Rockefeller possession. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, Jeff Carter said:

I recently read Donald Gibson’s “Battling Wall Street: The Kennedy Presidency”. Gibson usefully articulates a long-standing division in the American body-politic centered on the “proper role” of the federal government intervening and regulating business interests and the economy. He places JFK on the Hamiltonian side of the debate: that the government has a responsibility to advance policy which steers the economy in general towards development priorities which ensure the greater good of the populace . The opposite point of view, dominant within Wall Street and the business establishment, is that government should have little decision making role in shaping or regulating the economy. This was a serious fault line during Kennedy’s presidency. The Net Neutrality debate involves world views which reflect the above divisions.

In 1996, as the Clinton Administration moved to gut rules controlling consolidated ownership of media corporations, critics complained that the new rules would lead to media monopolies and a loss of diversity of opinion. Proponents claimed that consumers would be empowered. Clearly, twenty years afterwards, the critics have been proven correct as America’s media landscape has become corporatized, monopolized and uniform. Proponents of the gutting of net neutrality likewise make vague claims that consumers will ultimately benefit, but it is hard not to see that the critics will eventually be proven correct. Large interests will understand their "ownership” of the internet portals will allow them to decide the information available through such portals. The ability to throttle alternative points of view on controversial issues will exist and will be taken advantage of.

For entrenched interests, the problem with JFK was that his policies - including using the power of the federal government for the greater good - were popular and the prospect of continued electoral victories seemed ensured. Hamilton, back in his day, was equally detested by his political opponents, and was actually killed by one of them in a duel. Aaron Burr’s pistols which helped win that particular battle apparently ended up as a prized Rockefeller possession. 


Jeff, what you write is interesting. But one claim you make seems to me not to be true. You say that twenty years after the Clinton Administration eased rules on media consolidation, critics have been proven correct... that there are now monopolies and less diversity of opinion in the media. I don't see that at all. I see numerous cable channels and numerous news outlets. One can find news sources catering to every brand of politics, from far right to far left. It seems to me that the reason some voices aren't heard is only because consumers choose not to listen to them. Even if we focus on the big news outlets, we see a big difference between the two primary ones, CNN and Fox News.

Am I missing something?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my opinion, the range of acceptable debate/opinion has narrowed, particularly with "left" or progressive voices. Correspondingly, the mainstream definition of what constitutes "left" thinking has transformed i.e. positions identified with the DNC are routinely described as "left" while they are actually to the right of where Nixon was on some policies, whereas reactionary right-wing opinion has become almost mainstream.  True diversity exists solely on the internet, and this is under threat.  Have a look at the Google News aggregator, especially when international stories related to major foreign policy issues break - the uniformity of presentation and opinion across the Western press is stunning.

I think of the outright censoring/removal of informed opponents of the proposed Iraq War in 2002/03 (Phil Donahue etc), and Clear Channel's infamous list of songs which could not get airplay (including John Lennon, Marvin Gaye). Or take a look at the documentary about Gore Vidal and William F Buckley ("Best of Enemies") - it is unimaginable that an articulate person with the views of Vidal could appear on mainstream television today. 

Here is a fairly widely distributed chart of media consolidation from five years ago:

http://www.businessinsider.com/these-6-corporations-control-90-of-the-media-in-america-2012-6

And, for debate's sake, here is a critique of that chart (which features some of the arguments about regulation vs free markets which animates Gibson's discussion in "Battling Wall Street")

http://memepoliceman.com/corporate-media-control/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe it is the combination of Internet and free market that has moved intellectual discussion to the Internet. Let's face it, most Americans would be bored by a debate between the likes of Buckley and Vidal. The market for it is small. What this meant in "the old days" is that they would be seen on PBS. These days, CNN and Fox News, by design, appeal to the majority -- those on the center left and those on the right -- because they are profit motivated. Their larger audiences mean greater income. Meanwhile left-wing intellectuals have no place to go but the Internet. (Though for some reason left-wing radio and television don't seem to do well. Look at Air America, for example. It seems that those on the left prefer using the Internet.)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BTW, I agree with you wholeheartedly regarding those opposed to the Iraq war not getting equal air time. I was astonished that Chris Matthews didn't point out how W. Bush was conflating Sunni terrorists with Iraq and Saddam Hussein. I don't know... maybe Chris Matthews isn't as smart a person as I thought he was. But it was so obvious. I was astonished by how the whole media stood by as Bush l-i-e-d.

Sometimes I wondered if the media let the war happen just so they'd have something to report on.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From the original article:

Engine, a nonprofit group representing more than 1,000 start-ups and investors, released an open letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai detailing how they're worried they won't have a fair chance under his proposal.

"Without net neutrality, the incumbents who provide access to the internet would be able to pick winners or losers in the market. They could impede traffic from our services in order to favor their own services or established competitors," the letter said. "Or they could impose new tolls on us, inhibiting consumer choice."

---------------------------------------------

If Net Neutrality is gutted, it would result in an inordinate amount of time would pass after clicking on this forum's url before it would appear on your monitor. Eventually, it would mean that access to this site would be prohibited or made so difficult that anyone seeking access would just give up in frustration.

It would mean Orwell's 1984 has arrived.

 

 

Edited by Douglas Caddy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The origins of this issue have its roots in the creation, interpretation and gutting of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. The authors of that act were ill-equipped, and lacked the vision to see what the Internet would eventually become. I can hardly blame them for that. Most people had never touched a computer at that time. What was clearly mishandled however was the failure to recognize certain modes of data delivery as essentially a form of public infrastructure and recognize that competition needed to be insured within that mode. I am speaking of cable services. It is not reasonable to think that multiple cable competitors could all put their lines on poles to deliver services. So, there would be no competition in that mode. Cable should have been seen to be a kind of public highway for competing providers, and it was not. One can take swipes at and mock the limitations of DSL, but there was great potential for competitors in that market, those services reached many millions of people, and technological and infrastructure advancements could have and would have quite easily overcome the limitations of that time. Eventually very large interests were able to destroy those competitors. Threatening Net Neutrality is the Coup de grace in the defeat of the free and open information superhighway that was largely paid for by taxpayers.

Edited by Michael Clark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Michael Clark:  “Eventually vary large interests were able to destroy those competitors.”

Yes, and large interests were permitted to become “very large interests” by the 1996 Telecommunications Act.

The possible reversal of Net Neutrality seems to have come up very quickly, and worryingly within a climate of hysteria over open channels of information. The NBC news piece linked above by Douglas Caddy suggests that there has been a huge public response to an FCC call for public opinion, overwhelmingly in favour of Net Neutrality, but this response has been dismissed by the Commission as largely "spam" using “fake names and email addresses”. 

Sandy, you should have a look at the Vidal - Buckley doc. They had debates during prime time on ABC TV during the Democratic Convention in 1968. ABC put them together in a bid for ratings success - which suggests their appeal was to a wide audience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Jeff Carter said:

Sandy, you should have a look at the Vidal - Buckley doc. They had debates during prime time on ABC TV during the Democratic Convention in 1968

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Jeff Carter said:

Michael Clark:  “Eventually vary large interests were able to destroy those competitors.”

Yes, and large interests were permitted to become “very large interests” by the 1996 Telecommunications Act.

The possible reversal of Net Neutrality seems to have come up very quickly, and worryingly within a climate of hysteria over open channels of information. The NBC news piece linked above by Douglas Caddy suggests that there has been a huge public response to an FCC call for public opinion, overwhelmingly in favour of Net Neutrality, but this response has been dismissed by the Commission as largely "spam" using “fake names and email addresses”. 

Sandy, you should have a look at the Vidal - Buckley doc. They had debates during prime time on ABC TV during the Democratic Convention in 1968. ABC put them together in a bid for ratings success - which suggests their appeal was to a wide audience.

I suppose that it is possible that with the end of Net Neutrality, internet providers could package access like they do television programming. We hear occasional rumblings that DirecTV or Tme Warner are going to drop this channel of that channel from their line-up. It could very well become the norm that a website would have to pay to remain accessible to web-users. Would Educationforum be able to pay to remain in, say, Spectrum's basic service Internet accessibility package? Would alternative news outlets even be given a place in any package, at all, for any price?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Douglas Caddy said:

From the original article:

Engine, a nonprofit group representing more than 1,000 start-ups and investors, released an open letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai detailing how they're worried they won't have a fair chance under his proposal.

"Without net neutrality, the incumbents who provide access to the internet would be able to pick winners or losers in the market. They could impede traffic from our services in order to favor their own services or established competitors," the letter said. "Or they could impose new tolls on us, inhibiting consumer choice."

---------------------------------------------

If Net Neutrality is gutted, it would result in an inordinate amount of time would pass after clicking on this forum's url before it would appear on your monitor. Eventually, it would mean that access to this site would be prohibited or made so difficult that anyone seeking access would just give up in frustration.

It would mean Orwell's 1984 has arrived.

 

 

So it in essence would prohibit or at least restrict Freedom of Speech?

For the public that is.  The Main Stream Media would still be allowed to spew what they are told is acceptable and approved by the 1/10th of 1 % of us that own them(which is not Freedom of Speech in the first place).?  This is what our families have shed blood for?

Edited by Ron Bulman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Net Neutrality is the latest hydra from the Trump Administration.

And they learn from their past failures.  This one is meant to get out of the box quickly and get a vote before the opposition can organize.

It is a pernicious, anti democratic concept that will subvert the last bastion of free speech in communications. Cable TV turned out to be a joke.  A more or less mild echo of network TV.  The web, which was something they did not really foresee, is the last vestige of democracy in the whole field of mass comm.  And they want to end that too.  The greed and lust for power of these people is simply mind boggling.

Although Clinton deserves a large part of the blame for this due to the 1996 revisions to the FCC act, you can trace back to Reagan with the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine and Equal Time provision.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×