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Big Media’s Mass Focus on the Wrong Half of a DC Lobby Fight
Big Media is often stuck in its old narrative templates. One of the classics is its alleged defense of the Little People against Big Business.
Except these days the biggest Big Businesses of all - are woke Big Tech companies. With whom Big Media are very snuggly fellow travelers.
Big Media doesn’t scrutinize Big Tech. It champions, defends and covers for them. At the egregious expense of the Little People - and the country.
And Big Tech is HUGE. Behold some Market Caps:
Apple: $2.5 trillion
Microsoft: $2.2 trillion
Google (Alphabet): $1.9 trillion
Amazon: $1.9 trillion
Facebook: $1.1 trillion
But Big Media is stuck in their narrative template rut. They still want to attack business - while continuing to help Big Tech. So what to do?
Attack businesses that are impediments to Big Tech - even though they are competitively tiny. Behold the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) - and their relatively tiny Market Caps:
Comcast: $269 billion
Verizon: $230 billion
AT&T: $200 billion
Charter: $137 billion
Cox: $4.8 billion
The top five ISPs combined - are worth less than the smallest of the Big Tech big five all by itself.
Big Tech and ISPs very often want diametrically opposed things from government. So the nation’s ISPs are in Big Media’s crosshairs.
As but one huge policy example?
Big Tech wants the very stupid Network Neutrality - because it is government mandating that ISPs can not charge Big Tech for the monstrous amounts of bandwidth Big Tech uses. So we Little People will pay dramatically more for our Internet connections - to subsidize Big Tech.
That seems fair, eh Big Media? Except Big Media defends its defense of Net Neutrality and monstrous Big Tech. In part by complaining about the lobby money ISPs spend trying to stop it.
And if it takes a Leftist “study" with a lot of one-sided numbers and messaging to do it? So be it.
Get a load of this avalanche of anti-ISP Big Media idiocy….
One quick reminder: Big Media also lies about US Internet service….
Now back to Big Media lying about the import of ISP lobbying. In this instance, the lie is Big Media’s focus on ISP lobbying money - while completely ignoring Big Tech’s bigger lobbying money.
Here’s the distillation of Big Media’s message:
“A new joint study by Common Cause and the Communications Workers of America (CWA) union found that the telecom industry spent $234 million on lobbying during the 116th Congress alone, or nearly $320,000 a day. Comcast was the biggest spender at more than $43 million, with AT&T not far behind at $36 million.”
The Leftist “study” says it used the website OpenSecrets to get their numbers. Here is OpenSecrets’ five largest ISP lobbying tallies from 2019 and 2020 - the years of the 116th Congress:
Comcast: $43.0 million
AT&T: $36.4 million
NCTA (wired ISP group): $31.5 million
CTIA (wireless ISP group): $25.3 million
Verizon: $24.8 million
The tallies contain both lobbying expenditures and political contributions.
Except here’s what Big Media and its Leftist “study” aren’t telling you: Big Tech spent more lobby dollars than the ISPs during the 116th Congress.
Here are OpenSecrets’ big five Big Tech 2019 and 2020 lobby dollar totals:
Google (Alphabet): $49.1 million
Amazon: $48.3 million
Microsoft: $40.9 million
***Facebook: $36.4 million
Apple: $22.7 million
These tallies also contain both lobbying expenditures and political contributions. Except….
***: OpenSecrets’ Facebook page didn’t include Facebook’s political contributions - just its lobbying expenditures. So that $36.4 million is (perhaps way) light.
So the entirety of the “study” - and Big Media’s mass presentation thereof - is that the ISPs bought policy preferences from DC.
Except if that’s exclusively how it worked? Big Tech would have purchased more - and more helpful - policy preferences from DC. Because they spent more lobbying dollars than did the ISPs.
Oh: And Big Tech is lobbying for (even more) government cronyism - at the expense of ISPs…and we Little People. The ISPs are lobbying for government to leave us all alone. Not exactly a policy or moral equivalence.
To reapportion something the late, inordinately great Bill Buckley wisely noted:
“That is like saying that the man who pushes a little old lady into the path of a bus is morally equivalent to the man who pushes her out of its path, because they both push little old ladies around.”
ALL of these Big Media “news reports” - by ALL of these Big Media “journalists.” And NONE of them did the two minutes of research I did on Big Tech lobbying money. Which they could have very easily done - on the exact same website the “study” used as the basis for its “study.”
Researching Big Tech lobbying money was the very first thing of which I thought when I saw all of these stories on ISP lobbying money.
It either didn’t occur to Big Media to do it - which means they are awful at their jobs.
Or it occurred to Big Media to do it - and they didn’t because they thought it would totally diffuse their attempted pro-Big Tech, anti-ISP narrative.
Which means they are really awful at their jobs.
Or it occurred to Big Media to do it, they did it - and then didn’t report it. Because they didn’t like what they found - because it totally diffuses their attempted pro-Big Tech, anti-ISP narrative.
Which means they are REALLY awful at their jobs.