Where Are They Now…Thomas Lenard
Telcomm shill Thomas Lenard popped up on my radar again last night with a short opinion piece in C|Net news promoting the Cable industry line on “cablecards”–devices which would enable real competition in the settop cable box market and eliminate that monthly digital box fee on your cable bill. No one should be surprised to find that Lenard opines in favor of corporate control of the boxes in your home.
Readers with a long memory will recall Lenard as one the panel on the Cox/BellSouth faux “academic” forum (analysis, report) that was one of the incumbent corporations first serious tries at disinformation and FUD here in Lafyette. In it Lenard joined his fellow industry-funded experts to downplay the possibility of a successful public fiber build going so far as to claim there had been no successful municipal telecom utilities anywhere. He also supported the odd–and demonstrably false–claim that competition in the cable industry had never forced down prices…by way of making competition from municipalities seem useless. Suffice it to say that the event, and Lenard’s participation in it, was far from academically disinterested.
Lenard, and the incumbent-funded Progress and Freedom Foundation of which he is a “senior fellow,” popped up again when Lenard told Wired that “case studies,” including one of Lafayette’s fiber system, had shown the muni fiber didn’t work. What case study you might ask? Since there could be no case study of a system not yet built your puzzlement would be appropriate. Such is the quality of the invented research that Lenard and his foundation indulge themselves in.
There’s a whole industry of faux academic “pay for play” researchers out there that are deliberately polluting the conversation. What’s encouraging is that the commenters at C|Net are on to him. A few years ago that wouldn’t have been the case. Today he gets roasted and his connection to PFF and its industry-funded research are highlighted by regular readers. (Would that the editors of C|Net been similarly discerning.)