Mocked by comedian Jon Stewart for calling the Internet a bunch of tubes, U.S. Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens said on Thursday he is open to going on Stewart's popular "Daily Show" for a rebuttal.
The comedian has parodied the dean of the Senate Republicans for rejecting calls by some Internet companies for a law to block high-speed Internet providers from charging higher prices to carry certain content. Backers of such a law say it would preserve what they call "Net neutrality."
"The Internet is not something that you just dump something on. It's not a big truck. It's, it's a series of tubes," Stevens, an Alaska Republican, said last month.
Stewart parodied the senator's remarks on three episodes, which have spread over the Internet and were widely viewed on YouTube.com. He questioned Stevens' knowledge of the Internet, and quipped, "You're just the guy in charge of regulation."
Stevens, whose committee has authority over many Internet issues, defended his comments and said he had even received support from experts.
"I have a letter from a big scientist who said I was absolutely right in using the word 'tubes,"' he told reporters. However, Stevens said he had not been invited to appear on the show to respond.
When pressed whether he was willing to go on the show, Stevens slowly grinned and said: "I'd consider it."
A representative for "The Daily Show" was not immediately available for comment.
One congressional aide said the show had explained the controversial Net neutrality issue "better than any corporate lobbyist or policymaker I know."
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