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‘Most Transparent Ever?’ Behold the FCC’s Secret, Crony Socialist Meetings
The Entrance to the
Obama Administration’s Department of Transparency It is yet another Barack Obama Administration pledge now relegated to the ash heap of Mendacious History.
Get the trance-inducing mantra? And Administration members have continued to relentlessly chant it - even though it long ago became a patently absurd assertion.
So now that we are deep into the Administration’s fifth year, is this at all surprising?
Sounds totally transparent to me. This ain’t about Comcast’s purchase of Time Warner. It’s about the Obama Administration’s yet again squid ink-like “transparency.” The FCC reviewing mergers isn’t duplicative - it’s triplicative. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Justice Department also conduct reviews. Any one of the three different arms of the Leviathan can unilaterally block. However, unlike prospective denials by the FTC and Justice - the FCC’s can not be challenged in court. They say Nay - and it’s all over. And the FCC has the most nebulous of review standards - does the merger serve the “public interest?” The FCC their own selves get to define “public interest” on a rolling, a la carte basis. They simply proclaim something is not in the “public interest” - and that’s all she wrote. Given how murky their standard is - their process should absolutely be crystal clear. Holding secret meetings? Not so crystalline. Are secret meetings FCC business as usual? Ummm, no.
In my decades-long experience with FCC matters, it is fairly unusual, if not unprecedented, for the FCC to take the initiative in encouraging confidential complaints in the context of an on-the-record merger review proceeding.
Sounds totally transparent to me. Again - it ain’t (just) about the merger. The FCC has pending before it several huge power grabs of its own taking. Including unilaterally imposing Network Neutrality - and even Title II Reclassification to do it. And the companies getting Crony Socialist secret meetings - who are opposed to the merger - are in favor of the Title II-Net Neutrality power grab. Because it would allow them to use unlimited bandwidth without having to pay for it. Will Title II Reclassification and/or Net Neutrality also be discussed? Will any other FCC pending actions? Will any new FCC actions be requested? We won’t know - the meetings are secret. Meanwhile, the FCC has remained neutral throughout all these power grab processes, right? Not so much.
Who is Gigi Sohn? She is FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s “Special Counsel for External Affairs.” “External Affairs” apparently includes requesting more pro-Title II Reclassification power grab Comments - and supporting the absurd “Internet Slowdown” Title II protest. Not so neutral. Who was Gigi Sohn? She was since 2001 the President and CEO of Public Knowledge. A Media Marxist outfit that is pro-Title II Reclassification and supportive of the absurd “Internet Slowdown” protest. And where is Public Knowledge on the merger? Opposed, natch. Not a whole lot of neutral going on. So the FCC is telegraphing its desire to Title II power grab the entire Internet - while still receiving Comments they claim will help them make up their mind. And have before them a merger they are allegedly neutrally reviewing - while offering up secret meetings with its opponents. Yet another ongoing, fabulous example of Obama Administration transparency. Editor's Note: This first appeared in Red State.