You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

John Oliver Skewers Critics in Latest Plea for Net Neutrality

John Oliver, host of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight,” posted an online update to his May 7 call to flood the FCC with comments urging the agency to retain its current net neutrality rules.

More than 1.6 million comments were received “from all quarters of the political spectrum,” Oliver said, as he established a website, gofccyourself.com, that directs users to an FCC page for the public to chime in with their opinions.

But critics — including Liz Harrington of the Washington Free Beacon — questioned just how legitimate some of the comments were. Oliver, however, said that 128,000 of the comments were identical ones that were anti-net neutrality. He also said that the use of spam bots to file comments was puzzling, since so many were anti-net neutrality and “you would assume that the bots would be in favor of a free and open internet.”

The FCC will vote on Thursday on whether to launch a process that could roll back to regulatory foundation for the current rules, which are designed to ensure that internet providers treat all content traffic equally. It it passes the Thursday vote, the agency will start a proceeding to collect public comments throughout the summer, with a final vote expected in the fall.

Oliver also noted that there were some racist comments, and said, “Let me just say, if any of those came from anyone who watches this show, stop it. Do not f—ing do that. Writing racist things on the internet is not how you win the net neutrality debate — it’s how you win the presidency.”

The agency is currently in a one-week “sunshine” period, in which any comments being filed on the proposal will not be part of the official record. Oliver said that the show’s net neutrality site will go to a landing page until then, but he encouraged viewers to submit comments after the vote on Thursday.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has called for reversing his predecessor’s move to reclassify the internet as a common carrier, known as “Title II.” In 2015, then-FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and two of his fellow Democratic commissioners voted in favor of reclassification, giving them the regulatory footing to pass a robust set of net neutrality rules.

The commission now includes two Republicans and one Democrat — meaning that Pai in all likelihood would have the votes to repeal reclassification. Pai has not said what types of rules he would like to see in place of the current ones, and wants to put that up for public comment as well.


More Biz

  • Discovery CEO David Zaslav Sees 2018

    Discovery CEO David Zaslav Sees 2018 Compensation Soar to $129.4 Million

    Discovery Inc. president-CEO David Zaslav is once again making headlines for an enormous compensation package. Zaslav’s 2018 compensation soared to $129.44 million in 2018, fueled by stock options and grants awarded as the longtime Discovery chief signed a new employment contract last July that takes him through 2023 at the cable programming group. Zaslav received [...]

  • Jonathan Lamy RIAA

    Jonathan Lamy Stepping Down From RIAA

    Jonathan Lamy, the Recording Industry Association of America’s longtime executive VP of communications and marketing, is stepping down from his post after 17 years, he announced today. As he put it in an email to Variety, “I started back in 2002, which means it’s been 17+ years, four different RIAA CEOs, three format changes and [...]

  • Fox Layoffs

    Disney-21st Fox Layoffs: TV Divisions Brace for Deep Cuts

    A second day of layoffs has begun on the Fox lot in the wake of Disney completing its acquisition of 21st Century Fox on Wednesday. Longtime 20th Century Fox Television Distribution president Mark Kaner is among the senior executives who were formally notified with severance details on Friday morning. 21st Century Fox’s international TV sales [...]

  • anthony pellicano

    Hollywood Fixer Anthony Pellicano Released From Federal Prison

    Anthony Pellicano, the Hollywood private eye whose wiretapping case riveted the industry a decade ago, was released from a federal prison on Friday, a prison spokeswoman confirmed. Pellicano was sentenced in 2008 to 15 years, following his conviction on 78 charges of wiretapping, racketeering, conspiracy and wire fraud. He had been in custody since 2003, [...]

  • This image taken from the Twitter

    HBO’s Reaction to Trump’s ‘Game of Thrones’ Campaign

    Everyone wants a piece of the “Game of Thrones” lemon cake. From Bud Light to Red Bull the world of Westeros is open to a lot of brand partnerships, unless you’re using that iconic typeface to push a political agenda. In November of 2018 President Donald Trump unveiled a “Thrones” inspired poster with the words [...]

  • Leaving Neverland HBO

    'Leaving Neverland' Lawsuit Proves to Be a Judicial Hot Potato

    The Michael Jackson estate sued HBO last month for airing the documentary “Leaving Neverland,” which accuses the late King of Pop of serial child sexual abuse. Since then, the case has had a difficult time finding a judge to handle it. Three federal judges have recused themselves in the last week, citing potential financial conflicts [...]

  • Members of the public mourn at

    Guy Oseary’s New Zealand Fundraiser Nears $150,000, Continues Raising Money

    In the wake of the horrific shootings at New Zealand mosques last week that killed some 49 people, Maverick chief Guy Oseary launched a GoFundMe campaign to “support those affected by this tragedy at this very difficult time,” and began it with an $18,000 donation. Boosted by donations from many celebrities — including Amy Schumer, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content