|May 17, 2006||EDITORIAL ARCHIVES|
If You Don't Want to Return to a Cave of Bushevik Propaganda, Help Save the Internet Now!
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
You can take action to save the Internet by going to this site right now: http://www.savetheinternet.com.
SaveTheInternet.com is a wonderful resource where you can sign a petition (now with over half a million names), take action, learn more about the issues at stake, and forward messages to help fight the big Telecoms who are waging a deceptive and big bucks lobbying and advertising campaign to turn the Internet into a big profit center that would end up taking away America's only open message board.
Where would you be without an Internet that belonged to the American people, not corporate profit centers, today? Think about it. It would be like going back to living in a cave. It would be like living in North Korea, where the only news is the official news.
BuzzFlash wrote an editorial on Monday, May 15, about how disappointed we have been that many of the top bloggers have been running a highly deceptive ad that confuses people about who are the good guys and bad guys in this fight. These are blogs we have always admired. Indeed, we helped nurture many of them by linking to them frequently on BuzzFlash.com. It is part of our mission to help new progressive sites receive attention.
The progressive blogosphere has been vital in bringing the truth to power about the Bush Administration -- and these sites have been an essential part of that process. That is why we are still shocked that most of them are still running the very ad that could lead to a law that would be their death knell. (Many, many of the smaller blogs are active members of the Save the Internet Coalition.)
The ad in question is incisively dissected for its mendacity in an analysis by the Save the Internet Coalition (to repeat: the real good guys in this pitched battle). Read it, because the goal of the Telecom ad is to create confusion. After you read this, you'll see just how pernicious they are being. In fact, the backers of this ad and the phony front operation called "Hands Off the Internet" are some of the same phone companies who readily complied with the illegal NSA requests for domestic call records (but that's another story).
We were glad to learn that Alternet, one of the sites who uses the broker for this ad, quickly pulled the "trojan horse" Telecom ad off its site. And we believe Daily Kos is not carrying it either. If so, they are to be applauded for not letting dollars get in the way of contributing to the death of an open Internet.
On the other hand, we went to http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com and found the ad at the top of the site, as we did on on http://www.rawstory.com as of 6:45 AM EST on Wednesday, May 17. We also still found the ad on http://atrios.blogspot.com/ (although it was in the second spot there.) These progressive bloggers -- and others carrying the ad -- are enabling the enemies of the pro-democracy Internet.
Some have argued that liberals don't censor ads. But we beg to differ. One site carrying the Telecom ad even boasted that it would not carry tobacco advertising. But it will carry an ad that promotes a law that could place prohibitive barriers to a free dissemination of information on the Net? Come on now. Would the NAACP carry ads recruiting people for the Ku Klux Klan?
We understand that most sites need advertising to pay their costs and pay their salaries, and BuzzFlash has never before May 15 objected to other sites taking advertising, although we don't. But this ad is different. It's like letting someone pay you to try and persuade the public you should be hung; that is to say, all of us who believe in democracy on the Net. You can accept advertising in general, but you don't have to run every ad.
The irony is that there are many conservative groups who have joined the Save the Internet coalition because they are profoundly worried about having their views heard on the Net, which is what democracy is all about.
These ghastly ads are part of an extremely well-funded effort to seize the Internet so that the carriers can charge enormous fees for web content, although they are denying that at the moment. But all the informed players in the legislative fight know what's at stake.
One prominent blogger who would not remove the ad claims that no one reads the ads anyway. That's just plain ludicrous.
Corporations and lobbying firms did not spent up to an estimated 6.5 billion dollars on Internet ads last year because nobody reads them and they don't influence anybody. They know what they are doing.
The "Hands off the Internet" advertising and public relations campaign is aimed right at the heart of the progressive blogs, because they want to diffuse the support for "net neutrality" enough to sidebar the issue so that enough progressives will just not make opposing their devastating legislation a priority.
That is why they are advertising on the progressive blogs.
The people who run these blogs are smart enough to know this. It's time they do themselves and the future of democracy on the Internet a favor.
It's time they eat some crow and remove the highly misleading and dangerous "Don't Regulate the Internet"ads.
And then they should start plugging the Save the Internet Coalition instead of the Telecom industry.
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
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