When he moved from MSNBC to Al Gore's Current TV, Keith Olbermann declared that he was going to a place where the news would be supreme - free from influences brought on by the corporate interests of the parent company.
Which may explain why Olbermann's new Countdown is the first national program that's had Senator Ron Wyden on to talk about why he's threatening to stop the entire U.S. Senate in its tracks over a bill that threatens to severely damage the internet, restrict free speech, and essentially mandate that internet giants like Google, Facebook, eBay, and Yahoo become the internet police, with human review of everything we share online.
As Markos Moulitsas wrote yesterday at Daily Kos:
Big Pharma and the recording and movie industries are on the verge of passing a bill that could very well destroy the social web, including Daily Kos.
This is no hyperbole. ... It is literally an existentialist threat for Daily Kos and any other site with user-generated content, from Facebook, to Reddit, to tumblr, Sound Cloud or YouTube.
This is the holy grail of the entertainment industry—to destroy the internet, and thus, destroy the biggest danger to their business. ...
This bill would've been rushed through with no debate through both chambers had it not been for the singular efforts of Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, a true hero of grassroots media and the social web.
Wyden has put a hold on the bill in the Senate, and has promised a full filibuster. Currently, there appear to be 60 votes to overcome that filibuster, but the delaying tactics would tie up the Senate for a full week. And if it doesn't pass this year, supporters have to start from scratch all over again next year—this time under the full glare of a spotlight.
Wyden is now being joined with Sens. Maria Cantwell of Washington, Jerry Moran of Kansas (he's a senator that exists) and Rand Paul of Kentucky (even a stopped clock ...).
In the House, Nancy Pelosi has come out against the bill, which proves that this is not an ideological battle. And it shouldn't be—no one outside Hollywood is served by destroying the internet. Social media has been key in the rise of both the tea party and the Occupy movements, as well as pro-democracy movements from the Ukraine to Egypt.
And here's an update to the post I wrote last week: The petition at StopCensorship.org - where names will be read by Wyden on the Senate floor - has now reached 120,000 signatures. That's going to be one lo-ooo-ooo-ng filibuster.