Colbert On Net Neutrality

Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert took aim at the D.C. court's network neutrality ruling on his show Thursday night (Jan. 23), a decision he joked created "the new paradigm of holding content hostage," and which he cited as being reported by the Internet's "frenemy," television.

The bit included urging viewers to rise up against the cable companies, but his rallying cry was cut short when the picture broke up and displayed one of those annoying buffer icons as though the stream were being degraded online. After that, his tune changed to one of fawning praise for cable.

That was followed by an interview with "The Master Switch" author and Columbia law professor Tim Wu, taking claim for coming up with the term "network neutrality" and saying cable and phone companies want to impose a toll on the Internet to reach their customers. "The cable and phone companies position is 'we would like more money,'" he said. "And last time I checked I think they have enough money."

Colbert said the issue for ISP's was not money but, instead, free speech: "They want to be free to charge you for speech." He even took a gentle swipe at two large edge providers/search engines complaining about the potential new power of ISP's  to charge them for access. "

To check out the bit, go to