Boehner’s Attack on Net Neutrality Not Based in Reality

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Boehner’s Attack on Net Neutrality Not Based in Reality

House Speaker Misleads Religious Broadcasters about ‘Government Takeover of the Internet’

WASHINGTON - House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), in a speech to religious broadcasters on Sunday, warned that “the FCC is creeping further into the free market by trying to regulate the Internet.” The speaker was referring to the Federal Communications Commission’s Open Internet rules issued last December. "The last thing we need,” Boehner said, “is the FCC serving as Internet traffic controller.”

Speaker Boehner also pledged to the National Association of Religious Broadcasters to stand against any effort to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine, which was eliminated nearly 25 years ago.

Free Press President and CEO Josh Silver made the following statement:

“Speaker Boehner’s cautionary stories and bold stands would be inspirational if they were connected to reality. Instead, he is parroting talking points from industry lobbyists, and front groups and intentionally misleading the public. The FCC’s Open Internet rules will have the opposite effect effect of what Mr. Boehner claims: They would prevent companies from unfairly blocking or degrading Internet websites and applications. Likewise, there is no serious discussion in Washington about reinstating the Fairness Doctrine, a policy that was eliminated years before Speaker Boehner became a member of Congress.

“Speaker Boehner knows full well that real Net Neutrality has nothing to do with a government takeover of the Internet. He’s playing dog-whistle politics and stoking irrational fears of government repression, while raking in campaign contributions from the phone and cable companies. All a ban on Net Neutrality would do is hand over our online freedom to Comcast, Verizon and AT&T – with no recourse for the public when they block or discriminate against content they don’t like for any reason.

A free and independent press is essential to the health of a functioning democracy

“There’s no government takeover, there’s no censorship, and there’s no gatekeeper when there’s Net Neutrality — that’s the whole point. The government doesn’t decide what’s available, and neither does your Internet service provider. Speaker Boehner knows the truth, but telling the truth won’t help his patrons on K Street.”

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Free Press is a national, nonpartisan organization working to reform the media. Through education, organizing and advocacy, we promote diverse and independent media ownership, strong public media, and universal access to communications. Learn more at www.freepress.net

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