FOF #1395 – Don’t Believe The Fairy Tale

Jun 9, 2011 · 41969 views

One ringy-dingy to rule them all. Why would anyone want AT&T to become telecom-titan once again? What does Lily Tomlin have to say about all this?

The battle to protect Network Neutrality is raging. Millions of people are up in arms over the proposed merger of AT&T and T-Mobile, because it will leave just two large companies in control of the Internet and mobile broadband. Tech experts insist the merger will create higher prices, poorer service, the loss of thousands of jobs and most importantly, threaten free speech and openness on the wireless web.

AT&T has been fighting hard to convince the FCC to allow the merger and they’ve aggressively courted dozens of civil rights groups across the country to endorse it by promising increased functionality and speed, despite their dismal past record. Today the U.S. ranks 15th in the world in Internet speed and access, behind most European countries, South Korea and Japan.

One unusual LGBT rights group endorsing the merger is the Gay Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, or GLAAD. Their support of the merger is seen by many as a misguided attempt to curry favor with board members and one of their largest sponsors, AT&T.

Join us as we talk to-

Timothy Karr the Campaign Director for Save The Internet a non-profit coalition of over 2 million people seeking to protect Internet freedom.

Daniel Villareal, Queerty’s new day editor covering the story.

And Jarrett Barios, the President of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation about the groups’ controversial support of the merger.

Listen as we try to convince Jarret Barios and GLAAD to reconsider withdrawing their support.

Plus, will the negative backlash over GLAAD’s support of their corporate overlords overshadow its important work with traditional media creators?

And what your Internet experience will look like in the future if we lose Net Neutrality.

Featured Music:
Tom Goss: iTunes
Eric Himan – Everywhere All at Once: iTunes | Amazon



  1. Blair Slavin says:

    Great discussion. Really opened my eyes to what the issues really are.
    Though I must say, having worked with lawyers for several years, Jarrett Barios, the President of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation came across as slimy just like those attorneys I had worked with. Perhaps he is different in life outside of GLADD, but I wouldn’t trust him on a business level.

    • I don’t know Blair. Whenever I’ve had really slimy people on, they usually aren’t willing to get goofy and get into a conversation like he did, I think what happened is they made a mistake in supporting the merger and just don’t know how to get out of it.

      Of course they could always just rescind their letter. So the reality that the group can’t change course if they make a mistake is a sign of deeper problems.

      Have you guys signed Save the Net’s petition?

  2. RobbienSD says:

    WOW! What amazing interviews today!

    Your hard-hitting questions completely explained this confusing, complex and angering controversy.

    Today’s podcast convinced me that you deserve more donations to continue this GREAT service. Mine is on the way.

    Bravo and Thank you!
    (Bravo as in “A Great Job” not as in a “Freakish Reality Housewife Show” Tee Hee.

  3. Andy says:

    Very good interviews! It was interesting the hear the other side of the story. In Germany T-Mobil and the press mostly write about that T-Mobil wants to sell T-Mobil USA to concentrate more on the European market and because the high investments in their US network which would be necessary to update the network would be too high and not pay off.
    In Germany and other European countries T-Mobil is kinda like At&T, it has a high market share and usually has higher prices. You also could get the iPhone in Germany only at T-Mobil at first but since last the year the other three competitors offer it as well.

    I am glad the EU decided to force T-Mobil, Vodafone, Telefonica, Orange etc. in Europe to lower their prices for calls/messages/Internet usage within Europe. Modern communication became a part of our life and we depend on it. Therefore it should be affordable and as cheap as possible.

  4. Tim says:

    The scariest thing about the fight for Net Neutrality is the Orwellian way in which Republicans (and some Democrats) talk about it: as if Net Neutrality some how LIMITS free speech. Senate Minority Leader called Net Neutrality a “government take-over” of the internet:

    These politicians have obviously been bought by the telecommunications companies, and the uninformed viewer would think that Net Neutrality does what it is, in fact, designed to prevent.

    Corporations are only interested in one thing at that is PROFIT! GLAAD is being disingenuous or extremely ignorant to say that the AT&T/T-Mobile merger will help consumers. By eliminating competition, AT&T can continue to raise it’s prices and impose data walls. They have NO REASON to better their service, especially because that would cost money they could use on lobbyists and marketing. Unregulated capitalism has proven time and time again in America that corporations accountable only to a bottom line are practically never altruistic.

    It was never made clear why GLAAD chose to comment on this topic, especially when they claim it’s their policy not to get involved in legislation or regulation and avoid taking a stand on net neutrality. This just further shows that these so-called “rights organizations” are really only interested in paying their board-members’ six-figure salaries and throwing self-congratulatory, class-ist award ceremonies. Don’t networks basically buy these awards, anyway? No one watches TV anymore; the internet has done so much more for gay people than Glee.

  5. Tim says:

    I tried to put the Mitch McConnell video in my last post, but I don’t think it worked. Her it is:

  6. ABsolutely LOVED this show! Thank you for informing me about a concern I knew nothing about. I also agree that Mr. Barios, albiet charming, is very misguided in this area. He dodged questions in a very politically-safe way. If this interview helped him to understand even just a little bit how out-of-touch GLADD is, then it was well worth it. Either way, I got a lot from listening. Thanks guys!!!

  7. April Arrglington says:

    Great show! You guys are amazing in bringing this controversy to light. It seems GLADD is just out of touch on new media and what net neutrality really means. Faster service is irrelevant if internet freedom is in the balance. And I agree that they are just celebrity crazy. From all the LGBT orgs out there GLADD is the least relevant to me in the community, especially if they keep this up. Thanks again you guys!

  8. Marc Felion says:

    It appears that Barrios is resigning. Will keep you updated.

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