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Senator Kennedy Stars on YouTube

At press time--10 a.m. Wednesday morning--Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) had gotten 144,342 views to his YouTube pitch for network neutrality. That was about 30,000 more than he had just 12 hours before.

The battle between proponents of strong Internet access anti-discrimination enforcement authority language in a Senate telecommunications bill (Kennedy, Google, Microsoft) and its opponents (telcos, Senate Republicans) has been the debate du jour in D.C., prompting endless studies and rallies and conference calls on both sides. The bill's chances, with or without the language, are now slim thanks to the debate.

In his online pitch, Kennedy says the Internet "allows me and everyone else to communicate directly to you, no matter what your political agenda, no matter what your political party."

Of course, though the message can be controlled, the adjacent message can't. Kennedy's video is right above one where video of his tough talk at the Samuel Alito hearing has been replaced by dialog from Bluto Blutarsku (John Belushi) from Animal House.

CNN made a similar point about the Office of National Drug Control Policy decision to put some of its anti-drug TV PSA's on YouTube given that a search for the term drug gets not only its PSA's but video of people doing drugs.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.