I’ve always hated Federal Communications Commission, not just as an institution but the mere idea of it. How is it that the US constitution enshrines your right to say whatever you want, but somehow that right is not extended to TV? As someone who values free expression the FCC appals me, and it should appal all supporters of free speech whether you’re left-wing or right-wing. So it bothered me when the whole #FireColbert fracas showed up. Apparently the failing agitprop artist Stephen Colbert made a lame quip about Donald Trump’s mouth being fit only for being “Putin’s cock holster”, which is about the edgiest thing he’s said in years.
With #FireColbert, I think it was both the left and the right willing to piggyback on this, and I wouldn’t feel the need to bring it up at all were it not for the emergence of a second FCC-related hashtag campaign, this time targeting someone who I cannot believe I am forced to defend here. This week, John Oliver did a segment where he again campaigns for net neutrality (which is actually one of the few things I agree with him on), in light of the Trump administration’s plans to roll back Obama-era net neutrality laws.
He launched a campaign called “Go FCC Yourself”, in which he urged viewers to send complaints to FCC chairman Ajit Pai, in the hope that he might reconsider his plans axe regulations put in place under the Obama administration. However, the campaign seems to have been marked by DDOS attacks against the FCC, which appear to have happened soon after the campaign. FCC executive Matthew Berry also took to Twitter to denounce the many racist messages and death threats that people have submitted seemingly through Oliver’s campaign.
Many people have lashed out against John Oliver on Twitter, including Rebel Media reporter Jack Posobiec, who accuses John Oliver of deliberately inciting “racist fans” to attack the FCC, as if the FCC did nothing wrong. Oh but it gets better. Now Posobiec wants you to think John Oliver is some sort of “racist hatemonger”. What the hell is he thinking? He’s literally playing the race card in the same way the SJW’s always done, and his followers are eating it up. In fact, various other right-wingers, in their zeal to get him fired, are now starting to sound exactly like the authoritarian leftists they despise. It’s not just on Twitter. On Milo Yiannopoulos’ post sharing an article I found, several commenters seem more interested in the fact that John Oliver is a leftist, than the dilemma posed by the FCC getting involved. They don’t care because John Oliver is a political opponent of theirs.
They don’t seem to be getting that this is the exact same problem, but because the FCC is targeting leftist comedians for “obscenity”, somehow it’s okay. I can guarantee however that if the FCC-compliant Steven Crowder did the exact same kind of campaign that John Oliver did, and people sent racist messages through it, he would likely come under fire from the authorities too, but everyone on the right would defend him. In fact, I suspect that most of these right-wingers don’t care about the FCC now that Donald Trump is the president, but if Hillary Clinton had gotten elected, then they would be the first to oppose the very existence of the FCC.
I really dislike having to defend John Oliver, but this time, he is actually innocent, or at least I think he had good intentions with his campaign, but he grossly underestimated what could happen with online campaigns. The problem here is that the campaign was a golden opportunity for people who wanted to screw with him. Think about it. The campaign was filled with bot accounts, and was apparently a conduit for DDOS attackers. This tells me that his campaign might have been intercepted by malevolent individuals who probably hate John Oliver to the point that they wanted to make him look bad, so they hijack his online campaign by sending DDOS attacks to the FCC, and flooding the comment section with racist bot comments in order to make it look like John Oliver was leading an army of racists, hackers and trolls against the FCC. That’s my theory at least.
Of course, nobody seems to be interested in the more important question – why does the FCC even exist? All it does is impose stifling regulations on TV and radio, and thanks to them, American cable television is so heavily regulated that nearly all of it is boring, offensively bland, and so formulaic that it it’s incapable of edgy, boundary-pushing content. Just about all the TV imported to Britain is forced to comply with these regulations, so for me, it’s no different to watching heavily regulated British television.
I think a lot of the controversy, particularly with regards to Stephen Colbert, could be resolved if President Trump did the noble thing, and simply axed the FCC. If he did that, not only would he save money by eliminating a pointless regulatory body, but he would also attract more supporters, especially from libertarians such as myself. Again, I don’t like defending people like John Oliver. I’ve gone on record denouncing him as a liar, and I consider him to be a hypocrite (which I’ll talk about in a later post), but I also believe that it’s wrong to try and get him fired because of something that offended you, which is what the left has been doing for the past few years. With Trump in power, am I going to have to sit here and watch the right turn into the left? I should hope not, but as the Trump years drag on, I worry that this may be an inevitable reality.