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
Headlines – Internet
www.thedailyshow.com
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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work