The open internet scored a huge victory on Wednesday, but you wouldn’t know it by watching America’s major corporate television networks.
“Politicians see the light when they feel the heat! This victory was the result of the energy activists across the country brought. Let’s keep it up and bring it home!”
—Rep. Keith Ellison
Thanks to weeks of sustained grassroots pressure in the form of 16 million emails, over a million phone calls, and nationwide demonstrations both online and off, three Republicans voted with the Senate Democratic caucus on Wednesday to block the GOP-controlled FCC’s net neutrality repeal, clearing a crucial hurdle on the path to saving the web from the greed of the telecom industry.
In a statement applauding the 52-47 vote, Free Press Action Fund president Craig Aaron said the Senate’s passage of the so-called resolution of disapproval is “a historic win for supporters of net neutrality and a stinging rebuke to the army of phone-and cable-company lobbyists and lackeys trying to take away our internet freedom.”
“Today the Senate has taken a giant step toward unwinding the least-popular policy decision in the history of the FCC,” Aaron added.
Despite those and similar pronouncements by organizers about the significance of the victory, the news was virtually, if not completely, ignored by major cable outlets like MSNBC and CNN, respectively owned by Comcast and Time Warner—two of the major corporate powers lobbying against the CRA’s passage.
Meanwhile, as activists emphasized the importance of celebrating this crucial win given the tireless grassroots effort that produced it, open internet advocates and pro-net neutrality lawmakers noted that the same level of grassroots pressure—and likely even more—will be necessary to carry the resolution through the House of Representatives.