If you haven’t tracked this issue or are looking for a good laugh, watch the segment below. (WARNING: Oliver uses some strong language throughout the commentary. The video contains several “beep” sounds, but viewers will notice it’s still obvious what he’s saying. So — listen with headphones on if you’re at work or around kids.)
The gist of Oliver’s argument is this: If cable companies such as Comcast and Time Warner (which are trying to merge into one mega-company) can make net neutrality sound as mundane as possible, no one will care about their effort to fundamentally change the Internet, where all information is available at the same speed.
“The cable companies have figured out if you want to do something evil, put it inside something boring,” he says.
Oliver roasts the cable providers for their low consumer ratings, and points out some obvious conflicts of interest within the Federal Communications Commission. (For example, Chairman Tom Wheeler is the cable industry’s former lobbyist and is now overseeing rule changes.)
Oliver also challenges Internet users to act.
“This is the moment you were made for, commenters,” he said. “We need you to channel your anger.”
On the issue of net neutrality, The Seattle Times editorial board agrees that Americans should speak up and protect the open Internet from becoming a two-lane highway for the haves and have-nots. Read our board’s May 16 editorial.