If Wisconsin's experience is anything like what is happening in other states, the so-called Video Competition Act being pushed by AT&T and put on a fast track to passage by eager-to-please state lawmakers will end up deserving a place right next to No Child Left Behind and the federal Clear Skies and Healthy Forests initiatives in the Doublespeak Hall of Fame.
Legislative sponsors, AT&T's lobbyists and its PR machine all are chirping about how the legislation will lower cable TV rates in Wisconsin. Sounds a lot like the hype for No Child Left Behind before it became evident how many children are being left behind. For starters, only one in five students eligible for the tutoring the law promised are getting it.
As sure as Clear Skies allowed more air pollution and Healthy Forests gave timber companies the green light to more aggressively harvest trees on public lands, it's a safe bet that cable bills will go up under the Video Competition Act. Just look at Texas, where legislation virtually identical to AT&T's bill in Wisconsin has done the opposite of what was promised.
George Orwell's got to be doing double axels and triple toe loops in his grave.