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Jon Stewart Lampoons Sen. Stevens’ Net Nonsense

Posted on Jul 12, 2006
Jon Stewart on Ted Stevens

Jon Stewart teed off on Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens’ instantly infamous speech about Net Neutrality, in which the 85-year-old in charge of regulating Internet commerce betrayed a stunning ignorance of Net fundamentals.

Watch it:


  • Link

  • Also: Check out a hilarious techno mash-up of Stevens’ speech.

  • After playing a clip of Stevens’ nearly incoherent speech, Stewart said:


    Square, Site wide
    All right, that might have sounded more like something you’d hear from, let’s say, a crazy old man in an airport bar at 3 a.m. than the chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee. Uhhh, I’m sorry sir, I don’t think I understand your dump-truck-tube symposium.

    After playing another clip in which Stevens referred to “an enormous amount of material” clogging the Internet, Stewart responded:

    There’s apparently an enormous amount of material clogging Ted Stevens’ tubes. Perhaps a little fiber ... optic cable might be the answer.

    Also, in his speech, Stevens said that he didn’t receive “an internet”—by which he probably meant an e-mail—until a few days after it was sent. Stewart had this to say about that revelation:

    Actually, why didn’t Sen. Stevens get it until yesterday? Well, this is just a little bit of a guess, but maybe it’s because you don’t seem to know jack shit about computers or the Internet. But hey, you’re just the guy in charge of regulating it, so what difference does it make?

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    By Bill Marzich, August 4, 2006 at 10:03 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Where can I buy those internet tubes that Senator Stevens mentioned? I have some old television tubes left over from the 60’s. Can I use those instead?

    Report this

    By Eitan, July 25, 2006 at 10:16 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Don’t believe everything you see.  Jon Stewart is a fake!

    Report this

    By Capp, July 20, 2006 at 11:58 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Not to Stevens, but to my own senators, I have.

    Report this

    By SquaredCritic, July 18, 2006 at 1:59 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Americans love to complain as long as they choose a medium (such as an internet messageboard) where their complaints are guaranteed to never get heard or heeded. We moan and fret, but has anyone actually bothered writing an “internet” to Hulk-Tie Stevens?

    //Don’t even get me started on American voter apathy…

    Report this

    By oc, July 18, 2006 at 7:44 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    OK guys…for those that don’t get the joke and keep picking on Stewart’s “confusion” between net neutrality, the legislative proposal, and the COPE act, I’ll explain the joke realllly slowly:

    Jon Stewart heard on the news about the net neutrality act and its purpose.  It covered a topic he didn’t really understand.  So, like any other person, he needs someone well-versed in the subject to explain it to him.  Someone like the person IN CHARGE of regulating the Internet.  Who turns out to be an “old man yelling at in a bar.” 

    Man…how can our generation claim to be smart, sophisticated and tech-savy when comedy, jokes, and irony do not even register with us?

    Report this

    By sacha guitry, July 15, 2006 at 8:54 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Actually, Stewart is as ignorant as he claims Stevens is. It is soooo easy to pick on someone’s age. “An old man yelling at in a bar?” how about a middle aged buffoon mouthing inanities into a TV camera?

    Report this

    By Capp, July 14, 2006 at 11:15 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    The excuse the telecoms are using is that they need to lay more fiber optic cables because all the big bad comercial companies will fill it all up with the streaming video they will someday offer.  Part of the COPE act is allowing the telecoms to have their own streaming video services, making them a part big part of their stated “problem” but, of course,someone else has to pay for the “solution”.

    For one thing, there’s plenty of fiber, what they really need to do is update to a newer internet protocol, the old one wasn’t designed for this kind of traffic.  But they won’t tell you that.
    Also, about a decade ago the telecoms got billions in grants and customer fees because they promised to run fiber to everyone’s house and roll out 45mbps 2 way broadband.  By 2004 they were supposed to have 50% of all houses in the US wired up.  They never layed an inch.  They won’t now either.  It’s just another lie to fill their pockets.

    Ned:  The Net Neutrality act OPPOSES that.  Net Neutrality means all data stays neutral, no descimination.  (ie. what we had all along until the telco lobbyists got it repealed) 
    The COPE act is what you are really referring to. 

    Besides, the entire point of it is to allow the telcos to charge more money for doing nothing more than they do now.  It’s not about reducing net congestion except they claim they are going to need to lay more fiber, we’ve heard that tune and paid them billions before and they didn’t lay an inch.  Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, see Ted Stevens.

    Besides, Ted downloading the entire internet in a few days is still pretty fast, don’t you think? wink  Don’t know what he’s complaining about.

    Report this

    By Matt, July 14, 2006 at 11:13 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Too bad this clip missed the part of the segment about internet gambling. In it there was a hilarious diagram “courtesy of Ted Stevens’ brain.”


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    By TS Ward, July 14, 2006 at 8:59 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Here is where Stevens probably got the pipe analogy. I found this on Wikipedia site:

    Network neutrality has become a contested area of law in the United States as a result of troubling statements by Ed Whitacre, CEO of AT&T, about free-riders: Now what they would like to do is use my pipes free, but I ain’t going to let them do that because we have spent this capital and we have to have a return on it. So there’s going to have to be some mechanism for these people who use these pipes to pay for the portion they’re using. Why should they be allowed to use my pipes? ... for a Google or Yahoo! or Vonage or anybody to expect to use these pipes [for] free is nuts!

    Report this

    By t-bone, July 13, 2006 at 6:13 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    It sounds like someone on his staff tried to give him a clue with the “more bandwidth = bigger pipes” analogy, and this is what his dessicated reptilian mind garbled it into.

    Report this

    By Ned, July 13, 2006 at 5:27 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    There is some truth to the Stevens statement.  Some people send a ton of data through the system reducing bandwidth and delaying traffic for everybody else. However, the PROBLEM with the Net Neutrality Act is that it legitimizes this behaviour so long as you pay enough money or have the right political views.  If you can’t cough up the dough or on the wrong side of the political fence, too bad honey, you have to stay in the slow lane.

    Report this

    By BridgingTheGap, July 13, 2006 at 4:59 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Maybe the delayed email was misrouted to his Bridge to Nowhere.

    Report this

    By Capp, July 13, 2006 at 4:53 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Do I somehow have a different version of the clip than everyone else?  In mine, Jon Stewart says:
    “... one involves the Net Neutrality Act which would allow larger, more powerful corporations higher speed access to customers, establishing a two-teired heriarchy among - you know, it’s awefully complicated…”

    Ed Markey’s Net Neutrality Act would not allow that.  The NN act, in fact, opposes that.  What Jon Stewart was describing, in oversimplified terms, was the Communications Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement Act (COPE act) which Ted Stevens favors.

    Originally, I had just wanted to point this out lest it confuse any newcomers to the issue about what Net Neutrality is.  Maybe it’s a good thing I did, or maybe I just wasted my time. 

    On a more positive note, if you haven’t downloaded the techno song yet, it’s definatly worth a listen.

    Report this

    By Nick, July 13, 2006 at 4:23 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Jon Stewart does make an error in stating that Net Neutrality advocates are the ones wanting to make the internet 2 tiered. Net Nuetrality advocates are fighting against a two tiered internet. I think someone needs to check the script before they show so he knows what he is talking about.

    Report this

    By KEVIN SCHMIDT, STERLING VA, July 13, 2006 at 4:12 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    That Stevens is a funny guy. First he plays a joke on America by funding a $250 million dollar bridge to nowhere. Now he pretends to be an expert on the internet. Meanwhile his 10 year old VCR at home still shows the time blinking at 12:00.

    What Stevens said IS inaccurate. There are no “tubes” in the internet. Transmissions are conducted over wires and fiber optics, neither of which are tubes. If Stevens does not know the correct terminology or buzz words, then he doesn’t know how the internet works.

    Also, it is impossible for an email sent to a Senator in his office in Washington D.C. to be delayed and hung up in the internet for five days. If the Senate server was too busy, the email would have been returned to the sender with a message of undeliverable.

    Finally, Jon Stewart said nothing inaccurate in the video clip in reference to the Net Neutrality Act because all he did was mention the name of the act, not its contents or its meaning.

    Once again, Comedy Central’s “FAKE NEWS” as seen on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart is the only real news on TV.

    Report this

    By Capp, July 13, 2006 at 1:59 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    BillofRights:  Uh, if Net Neutrality is about making a two teired internet, I’ve been backing the wrong side all this time.

    As far as I know, NN is AGAINST making a two teired internet.  It’s for keeping everything as it has been all along.  Am I wrong?

    Report this

    By BillOfRights, July 13, 2006 at 12:40 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Well, actually, the things he said were not really inaccurate, just greatly simplified.

    Report this

    By Capp, July 13, 2006 at 12:11 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    I just want to clarify (for anyone who hasn’t heard about all about NN already) that the “Net Neutrality Act” Stewart refers to is 100% the opposite of Net Neutrality.  I’m going to assume he meant the COPE act.  I guess Stevens isn’t the only one lacking understanding, eh?

    Bit of an irony there, but it was still funny.

    Report this

    By kim worth, July 13, 2006 at 8:40 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    And yet, 23% of the population (see John Dean’s new book) won’t care.

    Report this

    By Gilbert Labiaga, July 13, 2006 at 4:31 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Mr.Stevens is a newbie and an idiot. Snail mail and email confused him. No wonder he has the brain power of a snail!

    Report this
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