Glover Park Group—Rupert Murdoch’s Flack Comes Out Against Open Net/ Sen. Stevens Uses Stealth Verizon-Paid Poll to Undermine Public Interest

The folks at the Glover Park Group—who last year helped conduct a stealth campaign to aid Rupert Murdoch—are now assisting Sen. Ted Stevens wreck the U.S. electronic media system. Stevens’ Commerce Committee released a poll yesterday slamming “onerous Net Neutrality regulations.” The Verizon-paid for poll illustrates how desperate Sen. Stevens and his phone/cable monopoly allies are (nothing about Verizon’s sponsorship is cited in the release or the poll—something the Commerce Committee should apologize to the public for).

Stevens and company can’t really speak about the substantive issues involving Internet Freedom—because they lose. So Stevens and allies now appear to be hanging their argument supporting a closed Internet on a poll finding that only “very few registered voters are familiar with the issue of network neutrality.” As if the lack of public awareness about an important policy issue means something is wrong with it! Hello. Has the Senator been swallowing those tubes, instead of using them to get his talking points from the Glover Park Group flackery shop?

Now, to the “bipartisan” Glover Park Group (which did the poll with Public Opinion Strategies). Aren’t we tired of Democrats who take the big bucks and the public interest be damned? This poll was written to help phone companies scuttle policies designed to provide community oversight of electronic media. The poll should come with a warning: “this is a political tool.” That Stevens, Glover Park, and Public Opinion would hold it up as some objective measure is a sad joke. It’s a lobbying love letter for Verizon, AT&T, BellSouth and the USTA. It asks questions about network neutrality purposely designed to undermine it as an issue. Perhaps that’s why the poll doesn’t reveal who funded it. Such well-known Democratic operatives as Howard Wolfson, Joe Lockhart, and Carter Eskew run Glover Park. In 2005, the group helped Rupert Murdoch organize a campaign designed to keep bringing in extra cash for his Fox TV empire. Press reports say they also have worked for big cable companies as well.

By helping the phone lobby create a closed Internet, the Glover Park Group is undermining the country’s democracy. What great credentials alongside working for Fox.

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