Breitbart.com contributor Seton Motley is one of the right's loudest critics of net neutrality -- or, at least, what he thinks is net neutrality. He wrote a piece yesterday excoriating various and sundry "leftists" (the word "leftist" is used 16 times throughout) who want to use net neutrality to "make it as difficult as possible for continued private Internet investment" and "leave government as the nation's sole Internet provider."
That certainly sounds terrible. It also bears zero resemblance to the regulatory structure put in place by the FCC's Open Internet order, which established net neutrality policies for internet service providers. The regulations prevent ISPs from acting as gatekeepers, restricting consumer access to legal online content. They grant the government none of the draconian powers Motley envisions.
Instead of grappling with the actual regulatory policy, Motley's warnings of the net neutrality apocalypse are based on this 2009 quote from Free Press co-founder Robert McChesney:
At the moment, the battle over network neutrality is not to completely eliminate the telephone and cable companies. We are not at that point yet. But the ultimate goal is to get rid of the media capitalists in the phone and cable companies and to divest them from control.
Shadowboxing with a single three-years-stale quote from an academic is far, far easier than delving into complicated policy -- which is probably why Motley has made a habit of doing it. This quote from McChesney has served a long, distinguished career as Motley's net neutrality bop bag.
In March, Fox News walked back its false attacks on the Chevy Volt after being called out by former GM Vice Chairman and political conservative Bob Lutz. But with Volt sales up, Fox is resuming its campaign against Chevy's plug-in hybrid, promoting a falsehood that Fox News itself labeled a "myth."
Fox Nation is promoting a Newsbusters article that calls the Chevy Volt the "epitome of this [auto] bailout nightmare mess" and claims "The Press is at every turn covering up - rather than covering - the serial failures of President Obama's signature vehicle."
I'll let Fox News' Steve Doocy debunk this one. From Fox & Friends back in March:
DOOCY: Lee, I'm glad you brought up that, the myth -- that so many people think that Barack Obama, you know, came to office and shoved this down GM's throat. It had been in development for almost two years, as you detailed.
The article also contains several other false attacks:
Fox News guest Seton Motley claimed that net neutrality means "discrimination of content" and "socialism for the Internet" that would prohibit Internet service providers (ISPs) from "manag[ing] the network." In fact, net neutrality does not discriminate against lawful content, and the Obama administration's net neutrality proposal calls for giving ISPs "meaningful flexibility to manage their networks."
From the December 16 edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck:
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That should put to rest any doubts that right-wing media figures own the conservative movement and by extension the Republican Party.
Politico's Michael Calderone reported yesterday that Beck said of his selection, "CPAC is my kind of people." An astute observation to be sure given the wing-nuttery on display at CPAC gatherings in years past:
What is unclear however is where Beck came up with the following notion: "CPAC is, I think they're as angry at the Republicans as I am."
If that is true, someone really needs to tell CPAC. Here is just a sampling of the GOP big-wigs past and present invited to speak at this year's conference (from the conference website):
Former Republican Senator and Bush-era Attorney General John Ashcroft, former Bush-era Ambassador John Bolton, Republican Senator John Barrasso, Republican Senator Tom Coburn, Republican Senator Jim DeMint, Republican former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Republican Governor Bobby Jindal, Republican Governor-elect Bob McDonnell, Republican Congressman Ron Paul, Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty, Republican Governor Rick Perry, former Republican Governor Mitt Romney, Republican Senate candidate Marco Rubio and former Republican Senator Rick Santorum.
Some may have expected newly minted Fox News contributor and half-term former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to take the role as keynote rather than Beck. Well, apparently CPAC doesn't pay its speakers unlike the National Tea Party Convention.
From Media Research Center director of communications Seton Motley's Twitter.com account:
Newsbusters' Seton Motley couldn't have screwed this one up more badly if he had tried. The right-wing media critic picked a fight with New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, but only succeeded in making himself look like a fool.
Here's Motley, trying to ridicule Krugman's column about Toyota deciding to open a new plant in Ontario, Canada:
Krugman's Nobel-prize winning economic mind then offers up:
So what's the impact on taxpayers? In Canada, there's no impact at all: since all Canadians get government-provided health insurance in any case, the additional auto jobs won't increase government spending.
Really? Adding workers brought in from outside Canada to the government rolls won't increase government spending? A little of Krugman's new math: X plus 5,000 still somehow equals X.
Who said anything about "Adding workers brought in from outside Canada"? Not Krugman. In fact, Krugman specifically wrote that Toyota chose Canada in part because of the quality of Ontario's work force.
Motley then purported to rebut a Krugman point about the quality of health care in Canada and the U.S. But while Krugman cited an actual study that used, you know, actual data and stuff to measure the effectiveness of various health care systems, Motley "rebutted" it by assertion:
The key words being "timely" and "effective" - two words never associated with government medicine.
OK, Motley didn't have data or studies to point do -- but he did have bold and italics to bolster his case. He must be right.
Then, at the end, Motley suggests Krugman do "a little due diligence and some rudimentary research."
Media Research Center director of communications Seton Motley questioned Barack Obama's allegiance to the United States, asserting that Obama's membership in Trinity United Church of Christ, which is predominantly African-American, "seems to stand in diametric opposition to ... the oath to faithfully execute the office of President of the United States." Motley also claimed that: "Our prohibition on the Presidency...could reasonably be extended to Obama ... who chooses to pledge allegiance elsewhere as an article of faith."