Paranoia-Rama: Right-Wing’s Net Neutrality Meltdown

RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.

Conservative pundits are downright furious about the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to preserve net neutrality, ensuring that internet service providers treat all data equally. But their anger seems driven more by reflexive hostility to any proposal that President Obama supports rather than an understanding of the principle behind net neutrality. In fact, right-wing commentators have spent the week making dire warnings about net neutrality that have no basis in reality.

We took a look at five of the wildest attacks on net neutrality in a special edition of Paranoia-Rama:

5) Socialism!

Pat Robertson knows a lot about the dangers of the internet and the satanic covens who use it to dish out curses on unsuspecting people, and the televangelist is very troubled by net neutrality. He warned that the “Obama people” are using net neutrality to advance a “socialist agenda” to “take control of everything” and “ruin the internet.”

Robertson described net neutrality as an attack on freedom, warning that the FCC’s vote is another sign that “our liberties are being eroded every single day.”

“I don’t want to live under a dictatorship,” he said.

4) Guns!

Yes, on the Thursday edition of his radio program, Rush Limbaugh somehow managed to link net neutrality to the supposed attacks on gun rights coming from the Obama administration. 

“Barack Obama is taking over the internet today,” Limbaugh said, warning that “the objective is to put it all under the control of government.”

Limbaugh suggested that the administration will use the recent arrest of ISIS sympathizers in New York to make the case that “the government must have control of the internet if we are to be safe.” This so-called “government takeover” of the internet, he said, will aid Democrats in their plan to start “banning bullets” under the guise of “making you safe and secure.”

3) Corporations!

Glenn Beck believes that support for strong net neutrality rules means that America deserves to be destroyed, and anyone who disagrees with his opposition to the new rules, according to Beck, is a “moron.”

Of course, this stunning assessment comes from the same media personality who actually seems to support the principle behind net neutrality even if he doesn’t realize it.

2) Comcast!

Like Beck, Sandy Rios and Rick Manning seem to think that huge internet service providers are the ones pushing net neutrality.

The two conservative activists suggested that Comcast was among the firms to blame for the FCC’s decision to approval new net neutrality rules, despite the fact that the company is one of the biggest opponents of net neutrality.

1) Freedom!

CPAC speakers love boasting about their love of guns, Ronald Reagan and freedom. As Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, explained when he kicked off the conference, “We have a job to do, and that job is not just to find the guy who can shout ‘freedom’ the loudest.”

But very few participants followed his advice, regularly speaking about freedom in broad platitudes rather than laying out specific views (see: Walker, Scott).

After telling CPAC attendees that they can help save America by joining his effort to “reassemble the Reagan coalition,” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tex., said that he will create such a coalition, in part, by opposing net neutrality.

“Washington wants power over the internet,” Cruz said, while “the people want freedom online.”

Cruz then rallied the crowd by using a line similar to an equally inane tweet comparing net neutrality to Obamacare: “Don’t believe President Obama when he says, ‘If you like your internet, you can keep your internet’!”