Fox News host Shepard Smith pierced a “tech guru’s” claims on Wednesday that the court ruling striking down a core principle of net neutrality helped consumers as well as broadband Internet providers.
“You sound like a corporate shill,” Smith told Dynalink Communications head Larry Fishelson after Fishelson tried to argue that a free, open Internet was in fact not neutral.
“I might sound like a corporate shill,” Fishelson responded. “But the whole idea with the Internet is, you can use anything on the Internet. So what the government’s trying to do is to get in to tax it and regulate it.”
The ruling by a federal appeals court stated that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) did not have the authority to mandate that providers treat all traffic equally.
“It’s a business, and it’s a business in the for-profit world,” Fishelson argued, saying that charging low-traffic firms the same rate as bigger firms was wrong.
“So now people with money will have more access than people without money,” Smith countered. “And the whole idea behind the Internet in the first place was that everybody has equal access.”
Fishelson argued that supporters of an open internet were using a “scare tactic” in saying that the ruling would lead to companies playing favorites with their services.
“Well, the whole Internet disagrees with you,” Smith said. “And every single fact that you read about what net neutrality is, how it was born, what it’s meant to do, flies in the face of everything you’re saying.”
Watch the discussion, as posted by Media Matters on Wednesday, below.