The New Republic seems to believe that the lack of network neutrality will somehow lead to the end of the blogosphere:
[The Internet] is where Americans can not only search for the best deal on a new digital camera, but also debate the country’s future. Unlike the telephone, it is a medium in which thousands, even millions, of people can participate in the same discussion at the same time. Unlike television, it is interactive. But it can’t function optimally if content is prioritized or filtered by telecom companies. Allowing companies to levy a toll on information providers is not just a blow to consumer choice–it’s a blow to democracy.
Andrew Kantor of USA Today (who reader Raphy points out recently had a change of heart on the issue) has a column that nicely rebuts this kind of silliness:
I’ve read quotes from bloggers saying their content wouldn’t be delivered as quickly as that from, say, USA TODAY–thus depriving people of information that isn’t from the mainstream media. And people speak of the “little guy” not being able to compete with monster corporations with monster bandwidth. But that makes no sense. Small information providers like bloggers don’t connect directly to the Internet; they buy space on hosting sites, either maintaining their own or on a shared blogging site (e.g., Blogger.com). It’s those hosts that buy the bandwidth, and they often tout their connection speeds. Think about it: Google owns Blogger. Do you think Blogger users are going to be deprived of bandwidth for lack of funds?
And Jim Lippard points out that TNR repeats the falsehood that network neutrality rules always applied to the Internet before the evil Bush administration stopped enforcing them.
I’m ordinarily a big fan of the New Republic‘s articles. It’s sad to see them repeating bogus MoveOn talking points.