Tumblr CEO David Karp is one of a small group of individuals who has influenced the Obama administration behind the scenes on Net Neutrality. On Feb. 24th he appeared on CNBC’s Squawk Box to talk about the White House’s plan to treat broadband services like a public utility. The segment featured him tumbling down an intellectual mine shaft after the least bit of push-back from the panel.
Please — I urge you — watch as the guy who runs a digital playground for socialist kids everywhere shows why the self-appointed masters of the universe should have no say in how to “fix” the Internet (that was never broken to begin with).
Rebecca Quick: If you talk to someone like AT&T — Randal Stevenson — he will say right now they have more capital expenditures than any company in America. They have invested heavily to build their network. And that if you turn it into a utility it will not be profitable to continue investing like that. And that as a result things will slow down.
David Karp: It’s just not true. It’s just been disproven.
Rebecca Quick: How’s it been disproven?
David Karp: It’s disproven too by the the tech end of it, too. There’s a tremendous amount of artificial throttling right now. They have the bandwidth to deliver this. Look, if we could move further in breaking down the near-monopoly situation we have right now, we would hopefully see more competition.
Rebecca Quick: You have a monopoly because it’s really expensive to build the pipes. And so you have not had multiple people who will build the pipes to the door.
David Karp: **Awkward silence** Ummm. Ahhh. I cc-confess, not my area of expertise. …
Joe Kernen: In general, do you think heavy-handed government regulation is a good thing or a bad thing for an industry?
David Karp: I think a bright line rule that spells out these sort of foundational principles we believe in — I think the Bill of Rights is a good thing. …
Joe Kernen: I don’t see how that’s an answer at all, comparing this to the Bill — I understand the Bill of Rights.
Notice how Mr. Karp looks like a small child who just had a handful of quarters magically pulled from his ear by his grandfather. It’s obvious that he’s never heard decent arguments against Net Neutrality, probably because he spends a lot of time reading the Tumblr feeds of clueless kids and attending Democratic fundraisers.
The Wall Street Journal reported Feb. 4:
Mr. Karp told Mr. Obama [at a New York fundraiser] about his concerns with the net-neutrality plan backed by Mr. Wheeler, according to people familiar with the conversation. Those objections were relayed to the White House aides secretly working on an alternative.
How ironic is it that the CEO of a company that theoretically works in the free exchange of ideas isolated himself inside an ideological bubble, which then broke the moment it was nudged by Joe Kernen and Rebecca Quick? David Karp Intellectual Bubbles: impervious to an Obama fist-bump, but prone to popping with a Rebecca Quick mind-prick.
Mr. Karp seems completely oblivious to the unintended consequences of letting the federal government upend an entire industry, which is odd given that unintended consequences of Obamacare are impossible to ignore.
If you get a chance, I again urge you to watch as a man who has helped shape Mr. Obama’s opinions on Net Neutrality crumbles on live television.