Doped-Up Sockpuppet Gophers: Wash. Times Dials Up Net Neutrality Hysteria

Blog ››› ››› SIMON MALOY

In the lead paragraph of his July 11 Washington Times anti-net neutrality op-ed, the Heartland Institute's Bruce Edward Walker describes "today's political class" as "a bunch of gophers mainlining amphetamines to burrow ever deeper, longer and wider into a morass of debt, unneeded and costly regulations, and just plain boondoggles." It's a colorful metaphor, to be sure, and it sets the tone for the rest of Walker's column, which suffers no lack of fact-free hysterics.

Piggybacking on Judicial Watch's nothingburger report on emails between FCC Commissioner Michael Copps and the media reform group Free Press, Walker declares that the FCC are "nothing more than sock puppets mouthing" the "leftist ideology" of Free Press "while masquerading as independent voices of government employees."

This is no less absurd than when Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton made the same allegation last month. The emails, which Judicial Watch obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, dealt with the placement of a pro-net neutrality op-ed by Copps, and potential speakers for a FCC conference on net neutrality. Such conversations between government officials and outside advocacy groups are nothing out of the ordinary. FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell, for example, gave an anti-net neutrality speech at a 2010 conference arranged by Americans For Prosperity, which also opposes net neutrality.

More to the point, Walker doesn't explain why Free Press, which he says is secretly setting the FCC's "leftist ideology," attacked the commission's net neutrality rules as a "squandered opportunity" that "heavily favor the industry they are intended to regulate, and leave consumers with minimal protections."

There is no explaining that fact because there is absolutely no substance to Walker's allegations. And lacking any factual basis, he instead waxes conspiratorial about drug-addicted sockpuppet rodents.

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The Washington Times
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