AT&T runs a “tech channel” and there is a show on there run by Hugh Thompson, a security researcher turned eccentric chat show host. They booked Joel Johnson, my old boss at Gizmodo and one of the smartest guys in the room when it comes to tech, under the assumption that he would talk about hot new gadgets. Instead, Joel brought up the small issue of AT&T looking into filtering content on its networks. The resulting discussion — which, to the TV crew’s credit — went on for quite a while but it was finally stopped and the scene looks like it will be scrubbed. Unfortunately Joel didn’t turn off any TVs during his time on air so his intelligent and forceful stand against illegal wiretapping will probably go unnoticed by the blogosphere.
Joel has consistently proved that breathless commentary and endless fawning can get you far in this industry but research, intelligent writing, and wit are what will ultimately change it.