The Guy Who Repealed Net Neutrality Caught Dancing in Video with Pizzagate Conspiracy Theorist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The video’s premise is to show all the things you can still do once net neutrality is repealed.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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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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