FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s profile rose a notch last week when John Oliver mercilessly mocked his ridiculous personal habits and his egregious intention to kill net neutrality. Now, Pai’s firing back by making horrible jokes about the Americans who like their internet just the way it is.
On his weekly satirical news program Last Week Tonight, Oliver asked his viewers to flood the FCC’s comment page with their thoughts about net neutrality. That page is so unbelievably difficult to access, Oliver set up the website, gofccyourself.com. Because ending net neutrality is incredibly unpopular, the site was immediately flooded with traffic. Oliver played a big part in fighting the first attempt to kill net neutrality back in 2014 and after his urging, the FCC site was flooded with 3.7 million comments. But this time around something strange happened.
Sharp observers noticed the comments supporting Pai’s plans to end net neutrality were identical. Follow up contacts with the people who supposedly posted the comments revealed that they had no idea why their name and address were credited. A disinformation campaign was underway. And now the FCC has hit pause on the commenting system, buying themselves a little more time to plug their ears and continue to lie about the benefits of destroying the internet.
Pai’s latest lie is that he’s a man with a good sense of humor who cracks funny jokes. In one of the most horrid attacks on comedy I’ve ever seen, Pai has made one of those Jimmy Kimmel-style videos where he reads mean tweets about himself and delivers fucking appalling retorts.
Cherry picked tweets make Pai feel superior. Almost all of the selections are specifically chosen because they either feature incorrect spelling or take a shot at Pai’s race. There’s no excuse for attacking him on the basis of race, that’s just a fact. In other cases, the FCC chairman simply comes off as a tremendous dick in the video.
Here’s a selection from this atrocity exhibition:
Tweet from someone: “Breaking new[sic]... Ajit Pai sent to jail for treason! American women less creeped out due to lack of Pai’s face around!”
Pai’s response: “Well when I get out of jail for treason, as Matthew McConaughey says, I might be older, but they’ll be the same age.”
What does that mean? Why does he go with a joke that implies he cruises for underage girls?
Here’s another one:
Tweet from someone: “Why do you hate America?”
Pai’s response: “Why do I hate America? Skinny jeans, kale, the Raiders, people who say acronyms like ‘bae’ and claim to be woke. I mean, what more evidence do you need?”
This is bad for many reasons, but let’s just stick with a single criticism and point out that “bae” is not an acronym.
These are just two of the many self-owns that occur in the video, most of which have to be seen to be fully understood. And no, this is not accomplishing the assumed goal of conveying that he can laugh at himself. If that were true, he would have taken on John Oliver’s professional comedic criticism of his plans that will harm consumers. Instead, he addresses a bunch of Twitter eggs with the implication that anyone who opposes his cash grab for corporations is a moron.
The real reason Pai is laughing is because he knows the American people will have to eat all the shit he shovels and he’ll probably walk back to his former employer Verizon to take a lucrative new position. Pai’s cartoonish grinning performance is just one more sideshow in an administration that holds all of its constituents in contempt.