A Bad Week for Neut Regs

by on June 13, 2006 · 10 comments

The past week has truly been a miserable one for supporters of neutrality regulation. Last Thursday, they got shellacked 269-152 in the House vote on the issue. Despite earlier talk of GOP members joining the pro-reg crowd, only 11 actually did so. But a surprising 58 Democrats voted against it. Then, yesterday, the Washington Post–no, not the conservative Washington Times, but the Post–editorialized against regulation. (By the way, no extra points will be awarded for guessing that pro-regulation advocate Jeff Chester responded to this by making an ethics charge, claiming that the Post didn’t disclose its conflicts of interest. Anyone sense a pattern here?)

The third shoe fell on the regulation crowd yesterday, when Senator Ted Stevens released his revised telecom reform bill in the Senate. Contrary to expectations, Stevens did not add neutrality regulation provisions to his bill. Instead he stood firm, with the bill only calling for a study of the issue. Kudos to Sen. Stevens for holding his ground on this.

Of course, the neutrality debate is far from over–and momentum could change. However, with only a few months left in the congressional schedule, regulation proponents must be looking nervously at the calendar, and hoping it won’t bring any more weeks like this one.

  • http://www.techdirt.com/ Mike Masnick

    James,

    It’s pretty weak of you to only point out the bad responses. I think I wrote a pretty thorough response to why the Post editorial was bogus, but you cherry pick the weak responses because they support your stance.

    Setting up straw men doesn’t help your argument.

    I’m not necessarily in favor of any of the proposed regulations, but I think you’ve been making a number of questionable statements (and your “support” for that idiotic amendment putting “neutrality” on companies like Google was really a low point).

    So, no, I’m not “pro-regulation” as you like to say, but I think patting yourself on the back because a ridiculous Post editorial supports your position is pretty sad.

  • James Gattuso

    1. My point wasn’t to critique the Post editorial — Tim did that in the prior post. My point in citing Chester was that he (among others) tend to lead with ad hominem arguments, rather than the substance.

    2. I never took a position on the amendment to extend neutrality regs to Google. If I had, I’d be against it, as I am against applying it to others.

    3. I’m not “patting myself on the back” over anything. I had nothing to do with the Post editorial. However, I do believe that the fact that if papers like the Post oppose regulation, that is bad news for regulation supporters.

  • http://www.techdirt.com/ Mike Masnick

    James,

    It’s pretty weak of you to only point out the bad responses. I think I wrote a pretty thorough response to why the Post editorial was bogus, but you cherry pick the weak responses because they support your stance.

    Setting up straw men doesn’t help your argument.

    I’m not necessarily in favor of any of the proposed regulations, but I think you’ve been making a number of questionable statements (and your “support” for that idiotic amendment putting “neutrality” on companies like Google was really a low point).

    So, no, I’m not “pro-regulation” as you like to say, but I think patting yourself on the back because a ridiculous Post editorial supports your position is pretty sad.

  • James Gattuso

    1. My point wasn’t to critique the Post editorial — Tim did that in the prior post. My point in citing Chester was that he (among others) tend to lead with ad hominem arguments, rather than the substance.

    2. I never took a position on the amendment to extend neutrality regs to Google. If I had, I’d be against it, as I am against applying it to others.

    3. I’m not “patting myself on the back” over anything. I had nothing to do with the Post editorial. However, I do believe that the fact that if papers like the Post oppose regulation, that is bad news for regulation supporters.

  • http://www.techdirt.com/ Mike Masnick

    On the amendment, you’re quoted in the News.com article about how Google should be “worried about the direction this debate is taking” as if that amendment were something they should seriously be worried about, rather than a childish joke played by the telcos…

    Sorry if I read that to mean you supported the prank, but it certainly came off that way. I know you don’t *really* support the regulations — NO ONE DOES. But, you do seem to support the sentiment that the net neutrality debate is no different than if someone wanted to regulate Google’s deals.

    Finally, I’m not sure why a ridiculous Post editorial should impact the regulation one way or the other.

  • http://www.techdirt.com/ Mike Masnick

    On the amendment, you’re quoted in the News.com article about how Google should be “worried about the direction this debate is taking” as if that amendment were something they should seriously be worried about, rather than a childish joke played by the telcos…

    Sorry if I read that to mean you supported the prank, but it certainly came off that way. I know you don’t *really* support the regulations — NO ONE DOES. But, you do seem to support the sentiment that the net neutrality debate is no different than if someone wanted to regulate Google’s deals.

    Finally, I’m not sure why a ridiculous Post editorial should impact the regulation one way or the other.

  • James Gattuso

    Yes, I think they should be worried about the direction of the debate. The rhetoric is increasingly aimed at “big companies” in terms broad enough to include goole and others. (And that rhetoric is coming from moveon.org and other activist groups, not from anything the telcos have done). If Google’s people aren’t worried about that, they aren’t doing their job.

    In any case, you wrote above of my “support” for the amendment. My statement indicates no such thing.

  • James Gattuso

    Yes, I think they should be worried about the direction of the debate. The rhetoric is increasingly aimed at “big companies” in terms broad enough to include goole and others. (And that rhetoric is coming from moveon.org and other activist groups, not from anything the telcos have done). If Google’s people aren’t worried about that, they aren’t doing their job.

    In any case, you wrote above of my “support” for the amendment. My statement indicates no such thing.

  • http://www.ssokolow.com/ Stephan Sokolow

    To be honest, if it weren’t unfair to Americans (I’m Canadian), I’d just say “Let the U.S. have neutrality regs and we’ll just see what works best”.

  • http://www.ssokolow.com/ Stephan Sokolow

    To be honest, if it weren’t unfair to Americans (I’m Canadian), I’d just say “Let the U.S. have neutrality regs and we’ll just see what works best”.

Previous post:

Next post: