After virtually ignoring the upcoming SOPA legislation and the upcoming online blackout to protest the pending legislation, now that the blackout is upon us, the corporate news channels that also support the bill finally decided to let their viewers know what was going on, because they had no choice. Were it not for the blackout, I'm sure they'd still be ignoring it for the most part.
MSNBC decided to bring on recently retired Senator and now lobbyist for the motion picture industry, Chris Dodd, for a nice "fair and balanced" discussion on the blackout. Dodd more or less accused the web sites participating in the blackout of acting like a bunch of spoiled children and offered little in the way of details to address the concerns of those who are against the legislation.
Glenn Greenwald wrote a pretty scathing piece on Dodd and the letter he issued via the L.A. Times. You can read the rest for his criticisms of Dodd's lobbying activity among other issues, but I thought I'd share some of his thoughts on Dodd and the MPAA's response to the protest -- Chris Dodd’s paid SOPA crusading:
Hollywood’s chief lobbyist lashed out at tech companies for mounting Tuesday night’s planned online blackout to protest proposed anti-piracy legislation that has pitted Southern California movie and music distributors against Silicon Valley Internet corporations.
Motion Picture Assn. of America Chief Executive Chris Dodd, the former Senator from Connecticut, accused technology companies such as Google, Mozilla and Wikipedia of resorting to stunts. . . .
“It is an irresponsible response and a disservice to people who rely on them for information and who use their services,” Dodd said in a statement. “It is also an abuse of power given the freedoms these companies enjoy in the marketplace today.”
It is in that capacity that Dodd has become the leading public spokesman and private lobbyist for the truly dangerous PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate and Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House, bills craved by the industry that pays him. These bills, which vest the power in large corporations and the government to seize and shutdown websites with little or no due process in the name of stopping piracy, pose the greatest dangers to Internet freedom of any bill in the last decade, at least. So serious are these threats that they have prompted a rare — and inspiring — protest movement from numerous large Internet companies and blogs in the form of an Internet “blackout” today.
In his SOPA advocacy, Dodd has resorted to holding up Chinese censorship as the desired model, mouthing the slogans of despots, and even outright lying. Like virtually all extremist, oppressive bills backed by large industry, SOPA and PIPA have full bipartisan support; among its co-sponsors are Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy and GOP Rep. Lamar Smith, with many Senators from both parties in support and Harry Reid pushing it forward (to its credit, the White House expressed opposition to several of the worst provisions, though has not yet issued a veto threat). Read on...
I was wondering how long it would take them to finally cover the pending legislation or the blackout. We got our answer yesterday when we started getting some very glossed over and brief coverage of the blackout and now today, with some completely one sided coverage and name calling of those opposed to it.