Thursday, August 16, 2007

Ma AT&T Says Shut-Up And Sing

Not only will they not lay us fiber optic (least Ma Southern Bell never did), AT&T has a kindamaybesorta policy to censor “political” speech during live webcasting. So they tested every possible free speech boundary during a Pearl Jam concert this past weekend. From

AT&T’s culture of control has taken a frightening new turn. Some may remember when the company’s black rotary phone was the only device allowed on its telephone network.Today, the communications giant is banking that a world without Net Neutrality will allow them to exert similar control over another network — the free flowing Internet. Look no further than AT&T’s recent censorship of a Pearl Jam concert webcast, just as lead singer Eddie Vedder launched into a critique of President Bush.

AT&T’s slippery response to the resulting outcry is instructive. The moment the Pearl Jam news hit the Web, AT&T’s public relations division scrambled their spokespeople and shills. In a frenzy of damage control, they fired off a series of statements. One called the move “totally against our policy — of never, ever censoring political speech.” Another declared the Pearl Jam censorship “an isolated incident” — an “unfortunate” mistake by a rogue subcontractor.

Full story here. Wait ’til AT&T discovers what folks say on the blogs! Jeez. What a bunch of corrupted creeps they are. They’d sell-out their mommas for the ability to monopolize the way we pick our own noses over our own webcams.

That said, I gotta say I live-webcasted a big ‘ole rally for a bunch of Georgia Dems once, over what was surely AT&T owned and operated Internets “air.” No one batted an eyelash. Then again, we had about, oh say, 2 million or so fewer folks tuning-in for that one. No rock stars bothered to show to rock the North Georgia Dem vote, sad to say.

And maybe that’s a good thing, because if there’s one thing that annoys the crap outta me is perfectly great music interrupted by some ego-crazed musician with a brain the size of a pea wanting to shove his/her juvenile political pontifications down our throats when all we wanted to do was hear good music and get wasted. I want a political argument, I come to Peach Pundit! (Actually, PR shills and hacks for giant telco beasts annoy me even more, but that’s another post.)

Shut-up and sing, eh?

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