Brow Beat

John Oliver Slams Trump’s FCC Chair for Undermining Net Neutrality

After making a bit of news last week, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai was subjected to a withering John Oliver critique on Sunday night. The Last Week Tonight host returned to the topic of net neutrality—which is once again “in trouble” because of President Trump’s apparent determination to roll back every action Barack Obama ever took—and zeroed in on some deliberately misleading talking points around the Title II provision, which classifies the internet as a common carrier and bars internet service providers from creating an internet “fast lane” for their highest-paying content providers. Pai, a former lawyer for Verizon, has proven a little disingenuous on the matter, proposing a Title II repeal in order to boost “investment.”

Oliver exposed Pai as the very opposite of the “fun, down-to-earth nerd” that he tries to presenting himself as. “[Pai is] the kind of guy whose Twitter feed is full of quotes from The Big Lebowski,” Oliver (accurately) explained. “He quotes it all the time. And look, quoting The Big Lebowski is fine in certain contexts, for example if you’re an actor and it’s 1998 and you’re filming the movie The Big Lebowski, but it is completely intolerable in any other context.”

With Trump in the White House and Pai not exactly looking out for the little guy, Oliver says that “once more, we the people must take this matter into our own hands.” After demonstrating how complicated the process for leaving comments on the FCC’s website has become, he then announced that he’s streamlined the process. Oliver bought the domain, which redirects straight to the correct page for commenting. So if you’re a believer in net neutrality—and if you’re not, Oliver’s coverage of the issue is pretty persuasive—head to the website and make a statement. So far, it appears to be working.