Viacom punishes Internet to get at DirecTV, yanks Daily Show offline

Viacom and DirecTV are fueding over which Viacom channels will be carried on DirecTV's service. DirecTV has nuked Viacom's channels. In retaliation, Viacom has removed The Daily Show from the Internet. Which is not owned by DirecTV. But a lot of DirecTV customers use the Internet, so maybe they'll complain to DirecTV and participate in Viacom's profit-maximization strategy.

DirecTV doesn't want to pay that much, and as a result, has dropped all Viacom programming, which includes Comedy Central (No Jon Stewart!), MTV, Nickelodeon and others from its customers' TV options.

So, in a tit-for-tat move, Viacom is now trying to get fans of its content to pressure DirecTV into calling the satellite provider by removing free episodes online, including "Jersey Shore" and "The Daily Show."

Public Knowledge, a public advocacy group, has called this move "unprecedented."

"Viacom has decided to take a service away from all Internet users in its attempt to punish DirecTV," wrote John Bergmayer, senior staff attorney, on the organization's website on Wednesday.

Viacom pulls "The Daily Show" offline as a result of contract dispute