Did Barack Dodge the Net Neutrality Question?
Senator and Presidential candidate Barack Obama (D-IL) was expected to field a question about Network Neutrality today during a live video stream via MTV and MySpace from Coe College, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Doing so, according to supporters would bring the issue to the campaign table officially. If they were waiting for it, they were disappointed.
UPDATE and CORRECTION: Perhaps some wires got twisted, who knows? The stream where Obama was to address the issue was slated for 1:30. He was asked the Net Neutrality question later, and came out in support. Here’s the updated version.
Joe Niederberger submitted the question 10Questions.com, a site promising to ask the Senator directly. Users voted the question to the top, which asked:
"Would you make it a priority in your first year of office to re-instate Net Neutrality as the law of the land? And would you pledge to only appoint FCC commissioners that support open Internet principles like Net Neutrality?"
The question, though, was never asked nor addressed in Obama’s MTV/MySpace speech. In fact, nothing terribly specific was addressed at all, and it appeared he was just trying to squeeze in a campus pep-rally before lunch. He stayed with the formula for this speech:
1. Shake some hands.
2. Pander to the crowd for arranging the weather so nicely.
3. Say something cutting against Bush.
4. Tell the young people they are the future and most consistent harbingers of change.
5. Tell a quaint story about small town America.
And really, getting college kids to boo Bush and cheer themselves is like making teenagers depressed which, as Lisa Simpson once said, is like shooting fish in a barrel. Chalk this one up as a raucous win, campaign manager, now lets go eat.
"The most important thing you go away with today," he said, "is a sense of your own power." But as for a Net Neutrality position — zero, zip, nada. Instead, he told the story of a little old lady in South Carolina that cheered him up on a bad day by being "fired up" and "ready to go."
Fired up and ready to go where? Maybe he’ll have more to say over lunch when the speech re-airs on MTV tonight at seven.
"In 2008, voters are looking for real leadership," said Adam Green, who leads controversial political action group MoveOn.org’s Internet freedom campaign. "Any presidential candidate who boldly promises to re-instate Net Neutrality during his or her first year in office, and to only appoint pro-neutrality FCC commissioners, will get tons of positive buzz online."
But it won’t be today, apparently.