How did net neutrality become such rich fodder for comedy? First John Oliver did it with an HBO rant over “cable company f***ery,” and now Oatmeal cartoonist Matthew Inman has slammed Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx) for an ill-informed tweet about net neutrality.
Cruz’s tweet came in response to President Obama’s surprising announcement on Monday in support of net neutrality. Cruz tweeted:
Inman then suggested the Texas Senator was a tool of the telecom lobby:
I know that you accepted a lot of funds from Comcast last year. In exchange. I’m guessing they required you to scrawl a 140-character, myopic, partisan shit-smear all over an idea which everyone can benefit from. But you shouldn’t.
The cartoonist also explained how the absence of net neutrality rules allows Comcast to throttle websites like Netflix, and depicts the resulting rage this can engender in consumers:
Much like Oliver did this summer, Inman uses humor to provide a sophisticated and accessible account of the technical and political dimensions of the net neutrality debate. Cartoons like this also show how the unpopularity of ISP’s like Comcast will make it harder for those companies to use their political clout to push policy decisions.
The strategy of big telecom firms has been to equate net neutrality with “regulation” and other Republican bugbears but, as more consumers become familiar with the issue, it will become harder for the companies to rely on such talking points.