ABC News Covers Net Neutrality

byline_abcnews.gif Well, not really. ABC News marvels that “tech-savvy Americans,” bless their little hearts, can drive news:
Newspapers and magazines won’t be the only media outlets endorsing presidential candidates this election cycle.

Popular tech blog TechCrunch will make its own picks for president, giving its opinionated readership a voice on policy issues close to tech-savvy Americans’ hearts.

Starting today, TechCrunch, which is read by more than 400,000 people monthly according to Nielsen/NetRatings, will allow readers to vote on its site for a Republican and a Democratic presidential candidate based on the candidate’s stance on issues such as net neutrality and ID theft.

Tech Blog to Endorse Presidential Candidates, TechCrunch Gets ’08 Contenders to Come Clean on Net Neutrality, ID Theft (HTML head title: ABC News: Which ’08 Candidate Will Get the Tech Vote?) By ASHLEY PHILLIPS ABC News, Dec. 19, 2007

A circulation of 400,000 puts TechCrunch in the range of big-league newspapers; there are only 27 in the U.S. with larger circulation. And that’s what the story is really about: a blog dares challenge newspapers, magazines, and TV in political coverage. Not silly tech issues such as net neutrality and ID theft.

What can you expect from a news outlet that links in the middle of the story to “Match-o-Matic: Who’s Your Candidate? Find Your Presidential Match!” Choosing the executive of the most powerful country in the world not just as a horse race, but as a love match. Such media should be interested in “tech” issues like net neutrality?

Of course, with the blog’s founder reinforcing the trivialization of his own issues, why shouldn’t ABC News?

“What really surprised me is how much my readers wanted to see this information. Candidates are seeing that it’s not only important to jump on Facebook and YouTube … but it’s also important to outline their policies on some of these issues,” Michael Arrington, the blog’s founder and co-editor, told ABC News. “We’re not talking about issues that have a huge moral [impact], but they’re issues that are really hard to understand.”

At, readers can vote for a candidate and read more information on his or her positions on issues including technology education, immigration and H1B visas, the wireless spectrum, intellectual property and renewable energy, among others. Voting ends Jan. 18 and users will be allowed to vote once per day.

Let’s see: net neutrality, which is about freedom of trade, speech, and association, isn’t a huge moral issue? And copyright, which has been one of the biggest levers used to dumb down freedom of speech isn’t, either? I guess such things must be really hard to understand; at least when the press doesn’t want to understand them.


PS: Match-o-Matic does actually ask questions about some serious issues, Not one of them is any of those “tech issues” (except immigration, which overlaps, but the question isn’t about the “tech” angle). You might think that net neutrality as freedom of speech would matter to the press. Not when it might be competition to the established press.