Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Ajit Pai Now Trying To Pretend That Everybody Supported Net Neutrality Repeal

Karl Bode, Techdirt:

Over in an interview with Marketplace, Pai again doubles down on repeated falsehoods, including a new claim that the repeal somehow had broad public support:

Marketplace: …this is not a popular decision. Millions of people have written in opposition to it. Public opinion polling shows most Americans favor net neutrality, not your open internet rule. And I wonder why you’re doing this then? If public opinion is against you, what are you doing?

Pai: First of all, public opinion is not against us. If you look at some of the polls —

Marketplace: No, it is, sir, come on.

Pai: If you look at some of the polling, if you dig down and see how these polls were constructed, it was clearly designed to reach a particular result. But even beyond that —

Marketplace: It’s not just one, there are many surveys, sir.

Pai: The FCC’s job is not to put a finger in the wind and decide which way the winds are blowing, it’s to look at the facts and make a sober judgment based on what the law is. And that is exactly what we’ve done here. Moreover, the long-term interest is in building better, faster, cheaper internet access. That is what consumers say when I travel around the country, and I’ve have spoken to consumers in Los Angeles to the reservation in South Dakota, places like Dahlonega, Georgia. That is what is on consumers’ minds. That is what this regulatory framework is going to deliver.

First Pai tries to claim that the public supported his repeal, then when pressed tries to claim that the polls that were conducted were somehow flawed. Neither is true. In fact, one recent survey out of the University of Maryland found that 82% of Republicans and 90% of Democrats opposed the FCC’s obnoxiously-named “restoring internet freedom” repeal. Pai then tries to sell the interviewer on the implication that consumers simply aren’t smart or informed enough to realize that gutting oversight of indisputably terrible companies like Comcast will somehow be secretly good for them.

It’s worth reading or listening to that Marketplace interview in full. The host, Kai Ryssdal, does a respectable job of pushing back against Pai’s repeated lies and faulty talking points.