Bachmann completely misunderstands meaning of “net neutrality”

Remember net neutrality? This is the idea that internet service providers shouldn’t be able to limit what their users get to see. The threat was that ISPs would take money from certain companies to make those companies’ sites load quickly, and perhaps make the sites of their competitors load much more slowly than usual. Obama mentioned it during the 2008 campaign.

Well, in one of her lovefests with Sean Hannity, Bachmann brought up net neutrality — and claimed that it is censorship. Whaaaaaat? City Pages has it:

So whether they’re attacking conservative talk radio, or conservative TV or whether it’s Internet sites, I mean, let’s face it, what’s the Obama administration doing? They’re advocating net neutrality which is essentially censorship of the Internet. This is the Obama administration advocating censorship of the Internet. Why? They want to silence the voices that are opposing them.

Here’s the video, if you prefer things that way:

The City Pages suggested that Bachmann is in the pockets of big business. While this is probably true in general, we think that quote shows that she just doesn’t understand the concept of net neutrality, or maybe that she is cynically betting that most of her constituents are so poorly educated on this that they’ll believe her. As longtime Bachmann observers know, this is not unprecedented. Recall her comments comparing tea partiers to the Charge of the Light Brigade, which of course was doomed, or her claim that carbon dioxide is a harmless and natural gas.

As the City Pages points out at length, net neutrality is essentially the opposite of censorship. It also has nothing to do with political content itself, just access to it. So, to repeat ourselves: Either Bachmann is incredibly ill-informed on this topic, or she’s betting that enough of her constituents are so ill-informed that they won’t notice the laughable mistake she just made. Either way, it’s not flattering for the Sixth District.


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