Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

An FCC commissioner tells Jordan Klepper that The Opposition to net neutrality has fake names, Russian accents

The Opposition With Jordan Klepper (Screenshot: Comedy Central)

Now that America has got that whole “Jesus Christ, can we just not elect a lawless, bigoted pedophile to the U.S. Senate!” thing more or less taken care of, it’s time for anti-Trump forces to look for the next exhausting but necessary fight. On a Tuesday where the late-night hosts—who tape in the afternoon—had to content themselves with one last summation of the equally bananas and horrifying details of the ultimately fruitless and hateful candidacy of Roy Moore, The Opposition’s Jordan Klepper sat down with FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel to hash out Thursday’s looming vote on the issue of net neutrality.


Of course, with Klepper playing the ironic right-wing douchebag role that’s his métier, he couldn’t help but gloat over Democrat Rosenworcel’s disadvantage, as she and her one Democratic colleague are outnumbered by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and the other two Republicans. “Sucks for you, sorry,” Klepper taunted the happily game Rosenworcel, before allowing her to explain just why the idea of lifting net neutrality regulations is a truly terrible idea. Asked to sum up her Republican cohorts’ position on wiping out the rules, the commissioner said it’s basically a mirror of the trickle-down principles that are the stated excuses for the GOP’s massive, deficit-bloating, billionaire-coddling, hastily scribbled tax reform plan. To Klepper, Rosenworcel explained that, not only has the whole trickle-down concept been disproven literally every time it’s been trotted out, a repeal of net neutrality would lead to broadband providers “getting in your way or making choices for you.” She explained further that, despite vague promises not to throttle traffic, censor content, or otherwise limit the openness of internet content and communication, companies “have the technical ability to do so, the business incentive to do so,” and, if the vote goes through, “the legal right to do so.”

In addition to the apparent corporate-pandering bent of the Republicans at the FCC, Rosenworcel told Klepper about some extremely fishy details surrounding the record-breaking public comment process. Noting that, out of the 23 million public comments received online, fully one million of those opposing net neutrality have been shown to be a result of identity theft (including that of a U.S. senator), while another half-million have come from IP addresses inside Russia, the commissioner said that the public record is “a mess,” and that “we have to see what’s going on before we vote.” Rosenworcel also warned that, should the vote go the way Trump-appointee Pai wants, “people are going to wake up and see that there’s this little agency mucking around with their internet content,” and that net neutrality shouldn’t be a partisan issue. “You can be a progressive or a conservative,” she said, “and you benefit from internet openness.”

The net neutrality vote will take place on Thursday, December 14. You can still contact the FCC at (202) 418-1000. Oh, and there’s even a handy online tool to find out if your identity has been stolen in order to spam the FCC on the issue here.

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About the author

Dennis Perkins

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.