Net Neutrality Brings Foes Together

    June 19, 2008
    WebProNews Staff

Conservative Instapundit blogger Glenn Reynolds did the unthinkable today: He agreed with a liberal, which is likely against stricter interpretations of The Conservative Thought Bubble Creed (Hannity, Defense Against Liberal Arts, pg. 1).  Worse, the liberal is employed by, with whom agreement is punishable by excommunication and revocation of golf club membership (Limbaugh, chapters 7 and 11, El Rushbo’s Guide To Neo-Conduct).

The issue making a crossing of the political aisle a much shorter trip: Net Neutrality.

Likely expecting a fiery debate on every topic during WNYC’s Brian Lehrer’s interview of Reynolds and MoveOn’s Adam Green, Lehrer was greeted at the 23-minute mark with sudden conservative/liberal kinship. Green lauded the "people-powered" Internet with its "people powered" politics and noted Net Neutrality was something both the left and right agreed about.

And sure enough, Reynolds said that was true before comparing ISP intentions to the payola scandals of the music/radio industry. "And the concern, which I think is completely legitimate, is that if big sites can engage in what’s basically payola for better treatment people will start visiting them more because they load faster and start paying less attention to troublesome little guys such as myself because our sites don’t load as well, don’t display as well, and don’t play on the same field."

Previously, Reynolds said the conservatives who have stuck with their non-regulatory ideals with regard to Net Neutrality are afraid enforcing a neutral net will lead to regulating ISPs as common carriers, just like telephone companies.

"I understand the point but the fact is that most of them are common carriers, the telephone company that provides my DSL certainly [is] already. And the genius of the Internet has been that it is a level playing field. When you go to visit my site, when you go to visit the New York Times site, when you go to visit or whatever, they’re sort of all out there in the same place and you can seamlessly go from one to another and that really does elevate the little guy."

So far that level playing field has created some powerful players like the founders of Google, eBay, and even Instapundit and MoveOn themselves. In what other time in history could somebody like Robert Scoble interview the Speaker of the House of Representatives?

Twitter reveals Craigslist founder Craig Newmark is in DC today, too. His lunchtime tweet: Bar at National Press Club (what am I doing here?).

No doubt the neutral net has been a springboard for many a self-starter; conservatives and liberals both seem to get that, and want to keep the springboard springy.