Thank You, Senator Stevens

A month ago I wrote about the debate in Congress over Net Neutrality. While I’m still disappointed that the House of Representatives failed to pass any legislation that was favorable to Net Neutrality, I’ve been hopeful that the Senate will act differently. Judging by how often the issue has come up in the media, I sense that public awareness has continued to increase. I am hoping that means that more and more people are contacting their Senators, urging them to vote for legislation that contains Net Neutrality provisions.

Thankfully, public awareness has skyrocketed this week, as this Jon Stewart clip has been spreading quickly around the Internet: If you haven’t seen it yet, take a couple minutes to watch it as Jon Stewart mocks Senator Ted Stevens’ semi-coherent speech against Net Neutrality.

Lest you think that Jon Stewart is unfairly taking Stevens’ comments out of context, or otherwise doctoring the recording, listen to the full audio of the speech or read a partial transcript. While Jon Stewart’s segment is hilarious, nothing beats the real thing.

Of course, it’s also depressing that Stevens has the power to significantly change our lives. I’m certainly not one of those techies who look down on anyone who doesn’t know anything about computers, but the soft spot in my heart hardens when someone like Stevens stands on the U.S. Senate floor, tries to present himself as an authority, and poses an argument based on enough fallacies to fill a really massive tube.

But I thank Stevens, because his speech has launched a wave of PR that the telecoms could never buy. To get a sense for the PR, listen to a few of the songs based on the speech, and read this forensic analysis of the “internet” that took several days to get to Stevens.

I’m sure Stevens doesn’t feel any better about the Internet after this week.

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