The Guy Who Repealed Net Neutrality Caught Dancing in Video with Pizzagate Conspiracy Theorist

FCC Chair Ajit Pai is really something.

FCC chairman Ajit Pai during the net neutrality vote. Jacquelyn Martin/AP

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) officially voted to repeal net neutrality Thursday, handing telecom companies a massive win. The move can largely be credited to FCC chairman Ajit Pai, who was appointed to lead the commission by the Trump administration in January. Pai has made numerous media appearances promoting the repeal ahead of this week’s final vote, including, it turns out, dancing in a video produced by conservative news site Daily Caller with a woman who supported the Pizzagate conspiracy theory during the 2016 election. 

The video’s premise is to show all the things you can still do once net neutrality is repealed. Apparently, one of those things is to “still ruin memes,” a segment during which Pai does the Harlem Shake. One of the women, a Twitter user pointed out on Thursday, is a Daily Caller staffer who had previously supported the conspiracy theory in a video on her YouTube page. The video has since been taken down, according to Gizmodo

What’s clear is that Pai doesn’t seem to be taking the repeal too seriously. In addition to the video, after FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn made a passionate case marking her disappointment with the net neutrality repeal on Thursday, Pai mocked her remarks. “Thank you Commissioner Clyburn. I’m going to mark you down as a ‘no’ then?” he said, laughing.

As we’ve previously reported, repealing net neutrality would give internet service providers the ability to control whether some websites have faster or slower internet speeds, including charging consumers and companies more for internet access—a move opposed by the large majority of Americans, including among Republicans. Pai could also be the decisive voice behind a massive media merger with tremendous consequences for local news.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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