×
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

  • MAGA Teens Taunting Native American Elder

    MAGA Hat-Wearing Teens Harassing Native American Elder Spark Condemnation From Hollywood

    The Internet erupted in outrage Saturday after a video of young men wearing MAGA hats and attempting to intimidate a Native American man at the Indigenous Peoples March in Washington D.C. went viral. The march is taking place amid the government shutdown, which is nearing the one-month mark and has interfered with many Native Americans’ [...]

  • Leonard Klady Dead: Film Journalist Was

    Leonard Klady, Veteran Film Journalist, Dies at 67

    Leonard “Len” Klady, a former Variety reporter and critic who most recently worked for Movie City News and Screen International, has died. His wife, Beverly Walker, said he had been diagnosed with cancer in November.  Klady was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba and graduated from the University of Manitoba. He was a founding member of the [...]

  • Jordan Feldstein

    Roc Nation Seeks $11 Million From Insurer in Jordan Feldstein's Death

    Roc Nation filed a federal lawsuit Friday seeking $11 million from its insurance carrier following the death of Maroon 5 manager Jordan Feldstein. Roc Nation, a joint venture of Jay-Z and Live Nation Entertainment, partnered with Feldstein’s Career Artist Management in 2016. At the time, Roc Nation says it took out a “key man” life [...]

  • Walt Disney HQ LA

    Disney Unveils Financial Data for DTC Unit, Sets April 11 for Investor Presentation

    Disney has rejiggered its business segments for earnings reporting to make room for the new unit housing its global streaming operations. Disney on Friday released restated earnings for fiscal 2018, 2017 and 2016 to give investors and financial analysts better visibility into its spending on the launch of the Disney Plus, ESPN Plus and other [...]

  • R. Kelly

    R. Kelly Dropped by Sony Music

    Sony Music has decided to dissolve its working relationship with R. Kelly, Variety has learned. No external announcement of the move is planned in the immediate future, says a source, who added that the company took its time to wade through the issues “responsibly” and avoid legal ramifications. R. Kelly was removed from the RCA [...]

  • CAA HQ LA

    Ex-Agent Stuart Manashil Ordered to Repay CAA in Fraud Case

    Former literary agent Stuart Manashil was ordered on Thursday to repay a $23,975 commission to CAA, which he admitted he had illegally diverted to a friend. Manashil, who now runs his own management company, pleaded guilty in March 2018 to a federal wire fraud charge. In a letter to U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood, Manashil [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content