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Naming Names: The Politicians Who Just 'Sold You Out to ISPs'

By Published on .

Ad Age "Media Guy" columnist Simon Dumenco's media roundup for the morning of Wednesday, March 29:

As the Trump agenda lurches forward and Obama's legacy continues to get systematically dismantled, it's obviously hard for the media to keep track of everything that's going on and prioritize coverage. What's bigger news? The rollback of environmental protections? (See No. 1, below.) Or your web browser history getting put up for sale? (See Nos. 2 and 3.) Maybe the whole Trump-Russia thing should stay front-and-center? (No. 5.) Or maybe whatever Trump tweets should drive the news cycle? (No. 6.) It's an embarrassment of riches -- or, uh, something. Anyway, let's get started ...

1. The big story on the front page of The New York Times this morning is headlined "Trump Signs Rules to Block Efforts on Aiding Climate" -- reworked for the web as "Trump Signs Executive Order Unwinding Obama Climate Policies." The money quote in the piece was delivered by Trump, who quite literally spoke to his base by addressing miners who attended the signing ceremony:

"C'mon, fellas. You know what this is? You know what this says?" Mr. Trump said to the miners. "You're going back to work."

Oddly, the dismantling of FCC rules protecting internet privacy doesn't get a front-page Times story -- though there is a piece buried on the third page of the business section headlined "House Vote Sets Up Repeal of Internet Privacy Rules" -- reworked for the web as "Congress Moves to Overturn Obama-Era Online Privacy Rules." And there's an op-ed by Tom Wheeler, the chairman of the FCC from 2013 to 2017, on page A27 titled "The G.O.P. Just Sold Your Privacy" -- retitled "How the Republicans Sold Your Privacy to Internet Providers" for the web.

2. On the other hand, The Washington Post, owned by Amazon's Jeff Bezos, has a page-one story headlined "Congress pulls plug on Internet protections" -- retitled "The House just voted to wipe away the FCC's landmark Internet privacy protections" for the web.

3. The morning's most pointed coverage of the internet privacy rules vote comes from The Verge's T.C. Sottek in a post headlined "The 265 members of Congress who sold you out to ISPs, and how much it cost to buy them" (subhead: "They betrayed you for chump change"). Sottek's post begins,

Republicans in Congress just voted to reverse a landmark FCC privacy rule that opens the door for ISPs to sell customer data. Lawmakers provided no credible reason for this being in the interest of Americans, except for vague platitudes about "consumer choice" and "free markets," as if consumers at the mercy of their local internet monopoly are craving to have their web history quietly sold to marketers and any other 3rd party willing to pay. The only people who seem to want this are the people who are going to make lots of money from it. (Hint: they work for companies like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T.) Incidentally, these people and their companies routinely give lots of money to members of Congress.

Sottek then provides a complete list of "lawmakers who voted to betray you, and how much money they received from the telecom industry in their most recent election cycle." Read on.

4. Brexit is a go. "Theresa May triggers the official Brexit process in a letter to EU," per the BBC, which has in-depth coverage including a breakdown of "The key points of the Article 50 letter" that sets the historic EU-UK divorce in motion.

5. USA Today's Oren Dorell is out with a big investigative report headlined "Trump's business network reached alleged Russian mobsters" that comes with its own dramatically scored teaser video:

6. OK, New York Post, you made me click:

7. And finally, "This Diagram Shows Nunes' Conflict Of Interests in Investigating Trump" -- a rather helpful segment from last night's "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert":

Simon Dumenco, aka Media Guy, is an Ad Age editor-at-large. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.

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