Last night Fox‘s Bill O’Reilly (3/1/12) asked guest Tamara Draut from the think tank Demos to name just one green energy success story. She tried to resist the question, explaining that in some cases, the benefits of government funding can come much later. Like, she mentioned, what happened with the Internet.
But O’Reilly wasn’t going to let those facts get in the way:
O’REILLY: Let me break this to you. The Internet–
DRAUT: It’s too short of a time frame.
O’REILLY: — private money.
DRAUT: No, it was public money. Department of Defense, federal money.
O’REILLY: Hold it. Have you never heard of Microsoft? You have never heard of Steve Jobs? That’s what did that.
DRAUT: But technology making Microsoft possible came from the Department of Defense.
O’REILLY: It came from the Department of Defense because they were doing space stuff and they discovered stuff that brought down which was then sold to private.
Makes perfect sense. Space stuff.
For the record, the first version of the Internet is generally considered to be the ARPANET, launched by the Department of Defense’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in 1969. Microsoft was founded in 1975 and Steve Jobs launched Apple a year later. Neither company was particularly involved with the Internet before the 1990s.