Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

R.I.P. Senator Ted "Tubes" Stevens

The Internet likes to spoof on politicians who make digital faux pas, such as former Vice President Al “I invented the Internet” Gore and Internets-loving former President George W. Bush.

And former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, who was tragically killed in a small airplane accident Monday, was no exception, never able to shake a speech in which he called the Web a “series of tubes.”

Said Stevens at a hearing in Congress in 2006:

“The Internet is not something that you just dump something on. It’s not a big truck. It’s a series of tubes. And if you don’t understand, those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and it’s going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material.”

The death of the hard-charging 86-year-old Republican pol, of course, revived the many online videos of him related to this non-geek malapropism, and “series of tubes” made it as a trending topic on Twitter.

Here is one of the more famous videos from Jon Stewart’s “Daily Show,” and another rap based on Stevens’ speech:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik