The NRA Gave Ajit Pai An Award Today For Being 'Co
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Ajit Pai may be one of the least liked people in America after he ignored the public and killed popular net neutrality rules last December. But while Pai faces massive, bipartisan criticism for being a sellout to giant, entrenched telecom monopolies, the NRA today gave Pai their golden seal of approval. Journalists attending the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) today noted that the organization gave Pai the Charlton Heston "Courage Under Fire" Award for his attack on net neutrality.

An added bonus alongside the award? A gun.

More specifically a musket the NRA said will be permanently housed in its museum to (apparently) memorialize Pai's "courage" for killing net neutrality. Dan Schneider, the Executive Director of the American Conservative Union (backer of CPAC), went so far as to call Pai "the most courageous, heroic person that I know" at today's event.

No, this is not the Onion. If you're struggling to understand why the NRA would jump into the net neutrality debate at this juncture, it's worth noting that Matt Schlapp, chairman of one of the groups that organize CPAC, is a lobbyist for both Verizon & Comcast according to lobbying disclosure forms.

Washington Post reporter Tony Romm and Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale both attended the event and first posted about the award on Twitter:

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Pai also gave a speech, the transcript of which was not made immediately available, entitled: "American Pai: The Courageous Chairman of the FCC."

Regular readers will of course realize there's nothing particularly courageous about Pai's efforts to rubber stamp every whim of extremely unpopular cable and broadband providers. Or his decision to ignore the public, ignore the experts, and ignore all objective data during his attack on net neutrality. It's similarly hard to find much courage in Pai's decision to block a law enforcement investigation into the fraud and identity theft during the repeal's public comment period. And while ISPs benefit from the infighting inherent in framing net neutrality as a "partisan" issue, surveys show the idea routinely has overwhelming bipartisan support.

Said "award" comes just a week after the FCC Inspector General's Office confirmed it had opened a bipartisan investigation into whether Pai is too cozy with the giant companies he's supposed to be holding accountable, another notably odd definition of "courage."
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