Net neutrality is a really important issue that is hard to get people excited about, except for those who are really into internet policy. But John Oliver did an long segment about it that got to the core issue so clearly and understandably that Tim Wu, the Columbia University professor who coined the term ‘net neutrality’, said that it had “rendered every other explanation obsolete.”
Oliver’s segment was great and had a stirring call to action at the end to stop the cable companies subverting the internet as we have known it. He also pointed out how president Obama has appointed as the head of the Federal Communication Commission, the agency that sets the rules and is currently discussing changing the net neutrality rules, the person who used to be the head of the lobbying group of the cable companies, suggesting that the fix is in.
Oliver is quickly emerging as one of the best sources of humorous and yet informative news analysis, surpassing The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. This may be because he has a freer hand than they do. His segments are not restricted to any length because HBO does not have commercials. As a result, he also does not have to worry about alienating sponsors. As long as he helps HBO draw in paid subscribers, he can say what he likes.
Maybe HBO should also start a hard-hitting news program. There might be a market for it.