Savetheinternet.org posted a story and video supposedly of outgoing at&t CEO Ed Whitacre’s farewell talk to the company’s board. The post featured some outrageously candid “quotes” from the talk such as:
â€œThereâ€™s a problem. Itâ€™s called Net Neutrality,â€ Whitacre told the heirs to AT&Tâ€™s telecommunications empire. â€œWell, frankly, we say to hell with that. Weâ€™re gonna put up some toll booths and start charging admission.â€
â€œWill Congress let us do it?â€ Whitacre asks his colleagues. â€œYou bet they will â€” cuz we donâ€™t call it cashinâ€™ in. We call it â€˜deregulation.â€™ â€
Outrageous statementsÂ indeed! But totally fabricated by SavetheInternet.org. Unfortunately, some news and blogger folk didn’t actually watch the video of the “speech” which was clearly a satirical cartoon, and voiced their own outrage ad Whitacre’s statements. Cnet’s Buzz Out Loud podcast (one of my favorites) was one of them.Â Even Andrew Cohill, fell for the joke. Still his comments that follow his references to the speech have real value on what’s coming if the issue of Net Neutrality is not addressed seriously.
It’s interesting that some of us who feel passionate about trying to protect Net NeutralityÂ are willing to believe the worst of intentions of the mega corporations that control what we see as a crucial piece of the common infrastructure of our society.