The top lobbyist pushing this monstrosity, Chris Dodd, is a former Democratic U.S. Senator from Connecticut. Dodd, now the chief of the Motion Pictures Association of America (MPAA), has taken a hard line while promoting SOPA. In a recent speech in Hollywood, Dodd absurdly compared the hosting of allegedly pirated content to the hosting of child pornography.
But just seven years ago, when Dodd still considered himself a public servant, he railed against attempts to intimidate journalists and suppress the media. Listen to the following floor speech from Dodd as he introduced his Free Speech Act of 2004:
CHRIS DODD: Our founding fathers recognized then that for a society to remain free, it must also allow divergent opinions to be expressed and for ideas to be openly exchanged. In many respects, the rights of free speech and the rights of a free press protect the government from trampling on the political and personal liberties all Americans hold so dear.
Dodd has his well-documented flaws. But how could a man, an overall decent man, go from championing free speech and media liberty above all else to pushing a reckless bill that mirrors the type of Internet censorship seen in places like China? Well, for one thing, Dodd went from making about $174,000 a year as a senator to making well over a million a year as a movie industry lobbyist. I don’t have the most recent disclosure for the MPAA, but the last one shows the guy previously in Dodd’s spot making over $1.3 million a year.