American Commitment Congratulates Robert McChesney for Reducing the Internet to a Public Utility


February 26, 2015

Dear Professor McChesney:

I didn't think you could do it.  Even with an obscene $196 million in funding from the Ford Foundation and George Soros, I never thought a small cadre of unreconstructed Marxists could execute a strategy to reduce the Internet to a public utility.  But here we are.

So congratulations to your group Free Press and to you, their founder, chief strategist, board member, and ideological leader.

You did it Bob, even though you laid it all out like a Bond villain back in 2009 when you said:

“One of the reasons we’ve been able to win this fight is that most of the new digital capital community is not supportive of the telephone and cable monopolies either. We have been in bed with some media companies that on other issues we are mortal enemies with. For a lot of people on the political Left who practice their politics on a barstool, we’ve committed a high-crime and misdemeanour for building a short-term alliance.

“You will never ever, in any circumstance, win any struggle at any time. That being said, we have a long way to go. At the moment, the battle over network neutrality is not to completely eliminate the telephone and cable companies. We are not at that point yet. But the ultimate goal is to get rid of the media capitalists in the phone and cable companies and to divest them from control.”

You recruited useful idiot tech CEOs, organized the true-believers and the rent-seeking corporations, and brought FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to heel (against his own expert judgment) by exerting bare-knuckled political pressure through the White House.

Even Hillary Clinton, after ducking the issue for months, has embraced your goal.  No matter that her husband’s favorite think tank said it would destroy the Clinton-Gore legacy.

The unthinkable has become thinkable, and the free-market Internet – one of freedom’s greatest triumphs – is set to be reduced to a public utility, subject to pervasive economic regulation and, in turn, to content control.

Your friend, current Free Press board member, and former ally on the FCC Michael Copps told us what comes next back in 2010, when he said:

“Can you tell me that minority and women’s voices on the Internet are getting through to major audiences—really being heard—like the big corporate sites? Should we just take it for granted that the small ‘d’ democratic potential of new information technologies will somehow be magically realized without questions being raised about how they are designed and managed?”

Now the FCC is poised to design and manage the networks that comprise the Internet.

So again, congratulations. You won this round -- but understand this: you’ve also awakened a sleeping giant.  Millions of ordinary Americans who think the free-market Internet has been a wonderful thing.  Who understand freedom as the absence of government interference, not the active “designing and managing” by bureaucrats.

We are going to fight.  We already won the most recent comment-period, sending your activist ally embedded at the FCC, Gigi Sohn, into an embarrassing “recount.”

Now we are going to fight back in Congress, demanding legislators do their job and overturn this FCC public utility order.

We are going to fight back in the public sphere, battling for every heart and mind.

We are going to fight back in elections, until we have a Congress and president who don’t think their job is to bend to your will.

And we will win.  Because you simply cannot be allowed to achieve your ultimate goal.

Yours truly,
Phil Kerpen
President, American Commitment