Glenn Beck: Free information is good, Net Neutrality is bad
It will come as a surprise to no one that the weeping demagogue recently shot another nonsensical contradiction into the ether. While giving the commencement address at Liberty University [hold for laughter to subside in 3...2...1] Beck chastised President Obama for his admittedly stupid “middle-aged man pretending to be confused by technology he probably uses every day for the sake of scoring cheap populism points” comment about iPods and iPads.
Beck’s point was that consuming information is good, information should be kept free, burning books is bad, and he encouraged Liberty’s graduating class to consume as much information as possible. It’s one of those empty platitudes no one in their right mind, who isn’t a fascist, would ever seriously argue i.e. the perfect commencement closer.
Yet, this is the same man who opposes Net Neutrality, the political movement that advocates no restrictions be placed on content or traffic in order to keep information free and open on the internet. Because pseudo-Libertarians like Beck have gotten it into their heads that government intervention is always, always bad, they’ve actually warped the idea of NN, and are now portraying it as censorship. Also, Satan is probably involved, too.
“We are dealing with people who think they should rebel until they get their little kingdom like Satan did,” said Beck. “You know what? Thanks, Mr. President, but I think we’re going to keep the Internet the way it is right now. You know—or at least until people who are worshipping Satan, you know, aren’t in office.”
NN is literally about keeping the internet free and open. It’s about keeping the internet the way it is. Opponents of NN are the ones who want to alter access and essentially create multi-tiered content that won’t be free and open to everyone, the very thing Beck claims he fears.
The fact that Beck can hold this level of cognitive dissonance between his ears without his head exploding serves as a wonderful demonstration. The far right’s mistrust of the government is so profound that they can convince themselves they are the victims of persecution even when the government is working on their behalf.
Regular readers of this blog know that I am a frequent and enthusiastic critic of the Obama administration, but on this topic (and most of the other topics he discusses,) Beck is wrong. NN is an essential part of preserving a democratic internet, and the flow of free information.