Speaking to a group of religious broadcasters on Sunday, House Speaker John Boehner said that the Federal Communications Commission's December network neutrality decision is proof that the FCC "is creeping further into the free market" and could impede the freedom of speech, the Washington Times reports.
"The last thing we need, in my view, is the FCC serving as Internet traffic controller, and potentially running roughshod over local broadcasters who have been serving their communities with free content for decades," he said to the National Religious Broadcasters.
Boehner worries about the reinstatement of something akin to the Fairness Doctrine, an FCC policy in effect from 1949 to 1987 that required holders of broadcast licenses to strive for balanced reporting. When the Fairness Doctrine was revoked, it paved the way for talk-radio pundits on both sides of the aisle.
Free Press President Josh Silver accused Boehner of repeated misinformation provided by lobbyists.
"Speaker Boehner's cautionary stories and bold stands would be inspirational if they were connected to reality," Silver said in a statement. "Instead, he is parroting talking points from industry lobbyists, front groups and intentionally misleading the public. Speaker Boehner knows full well that real Net Neutrality has nothing to do with a government takeover of the Internet."