HBO Pseudo-News Anchor John Oliver Gets Net Neutrality Fundamentally Wrong
Long on Humor - Short on Facts
So it turns out there that something doesn't have to be true to be funny.
Many a thinking American - who knows media bias - finds the following perversely appropriate.
Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings, Dan Rather ... and Jon Stewart?
Readers over 30 might scoff at Stewart's inclusion - assuming they know who he is. For many under 30, the host of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" is, improbably, a source for news.
Looking to further ride the wave (beyond just Real Time with Bill Maher), HBO hired away Comedy Central “reporter” John Oliver to anchor a new “news” show - Last Week Tonight. And on June 1, Oliver spent thirteen minutes on Network Neutrality. And the pseudo-news pseudo-consumers were thrilled.
Except Oliver doesn't explain Net Neutrality - he gets it fundamentally wrong.
Oliver’s segment was start-to-finish Leftist rote. Unwittingly I’m guessing, he’s carrying the water of the Internet’s bandwidth hogs. Particularly video-streaming companies like Netflix, Google (who owns YouTube) - and, perhaps, movie channel HBO? - who want the government to mandate that they get a free ride for being bandwidth hogs.
And Oliver omits a panoply of contravening information.
Oliver begins his piece by incorrectly asserting that huge-bandwidth-using-companies paying for the bandwidth they use is the creation of an Internet “fast lane.” Thus leaving the rest of us consigned to the “slow lane.”
Only there will be no such thing. What Oliver and Company report as brand new “fast lanes”- are in fact regular lane deals that have existed as long as has the Internet. It is all a part of what is called peering.
Internet Peering is typically settlement-free, meaning that neither party pays the other for access to each other’s customers, reflective of the underlying notion that peering is a relationship of approximately equal value to each party.
If either party perceives that the benefit derived from peering is asymmetric, one party or the other may deny peering or suggest an alternative paid arrangement.
With the likes of Netflix - peering is anything but asymmetric.
Netflix for years had no problem paying middle men for their monster bandwidth use - companies like Level 3 and Cogent. Who are Internet Service Providers (ISPs) - just for these guys rather than us.
Then it occurred to Netflix that it made more business sense to cut out these middle men - and deal directly with our ISPs.
Except Netflix suddenly, disingenuously claimed these very ordinary deals were Net Neutrality violations.
But again, Netflix has always paid someone for their bandwidth hoggishness (as well they should). The only thing new here is their trying to get the government to mandate they no longer have to.
Netflix’ dishonesty doesn’t end there.
The Media is unquestioningly buying Netflix’ garbage. Is the Barack Obama Administration? Sadly, unsurprisingly…
Working with thirteen minutes, Oliver never got to any of this.
So we should congratulate Oliver and his pseudo-news colleagues. They are just as reliable - reliably Leftist - as the Jurassic Press they are slowly supplanting.
Editor's Note: This first appeared in NewsBusters.org.