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Media Businesses Communications Crime The Almighty Buck The Courts

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Is Under Investigation Over $3.9 Billion Media Deal 145

According to a report in The New York Times (Warning: source may be paywalled), Ajit Pai and the FCC approved a set of rules in 2017 to allow television broadcasters to increase the number of stations they own. Weeks after the rules were approved, Sinclair Broadcasting announced a $3.9 billion deal to buy Tribune Media. PC Gamer reports: The deal was made possible by the new set of rules, which subsequently raised some eyebrows. Notably, the FCC's inspector general is reportedly investigating if Pai and his aides abused their position by pushing for the rule changes that would make the deal possible, and timing them to benefit Sinclair. The extent of the investigation is not clear, nor is how long it will take. However, it does bring up the question of whether Pai had coordinated with Sinclair, and it could force him to publicly address the topic, which he hasn't really done up to this point.

Legislators first pushed for an investigation into this matter last November. At the time, a spokesman for the FCC representing Pai called the allegations "baseless" and alluded to it being a partisan play by those who oppose the chairman. "For many years, Chairman Pai has called on the FCC to update its media ownership regulations," the FCC spokesman said. "The chairman is sticking to his long-held views, and given the strong case for modernizing these rules, it's not surprising that those who disagree with him would prefer to do whatever they can to distract from the merits of his proposals."
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FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Is Under Investigation Over $3.9 Billion Media Deal

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  • by sgage ( 109086 ) on Thursday February 15, 2018 @09:38PM (#56132260)

    ... to see Ajit Pai in an orange jumpsuit being led off to prison in handcuffs. Maybe that would wipe the stupd shit-eating grin off his face. He is an arrogant sociopathic twat, and I would love to see justice served. But I don't expect to.

    • Club Fed's are not like that

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      As a result of one or two giant corporations being allowed to own 99.99% of all AM and FM radio stations, the AM and FM radio bands have become nothing but wasted spectrum at this point. The AM band is wall-to-wall Rush Limbaugh clones (YYYYYYUUUUUUCCCCCKKKKK!!!!!!!!), and Only on the very few independent FM stations left is any new and original music heard. Looks like TV stations are gonna go the same way.

      Ijit Pai is just another corporate shill...doing whatever his masters order him to. Repealing Net N

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Everyone knows Ajit has his mouth wrapped around the cock of every major telecom company in the country and is sucking harder than a Hoover vacuum cleaner, but it's a matter of PROVING it in a strict legal sense sadly. I doubt they will be able to do that, and even if they do, it'd probably be up to the DOJ to actually prosecute it, and... yeah. Best case scenario is he would resign to "spend more time with his family" or some other euphemism for "shitcanned outta there!" And the way things are going with t

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by BlueStrat ( 756137 )

      ... to see Ajit Pai in an orange jumpsuit being led off to prison in handcuffs. Maybe that would wipe the stupd shit-eating grin off his face. He is an arrogant sociopathic twat, and I would love to see justice served. But I don't expect to.

      Nice how you can be so certain of a crime having been committed with only some allegations and a fraction of the facts to go on.

      It couldn't be that, no matter the timing of this rule change or the enactment of any similar change in regulation, there would be major players who jump at the chance to take actions the old rules prevented. Right? That's just too simple and logical. It *must* be some criminal shenanigans if it's someone on the "other side" doing something you disagree with.

      Especially if that guy

      • by Gr8Apes ( 679165 )

        Or, not.

        Strat

        We're calling for his head for abdicating his responsibilities to regulate broadcasters for the good of the people. Instead, every step he's taken has been to de-regulate corporations so they can maximize their profits. Prove me wrong with actual facts if you disagree.

        To go back to the case for illegality, it does seem given his career that there's just a little payback going on there, somewhere. There's no way someone would be so corporate leaning and anti-consumer without some profit attached for him so

      • As if someone in a government seat wouldn't be pushing for corporate rights so that he can get a handie from those corporations when he leaves the public sector. So Ajit Pai is a saint? What else should we add to your fantasy?
    • Is fraud and fingers in the pie his modus operandi?

  • by ZorinLynx ( 31751 ) on Thursday February 15, 2018 @09:38PM (#56132262) Homepage

    The fox has been put in charge of investigating missing chickens. The chickens have not been seen since last week and the fox, who has been guarding the henhouse for a month now, has promised to get to the bottom of this.

    "I won't sleep until I find out what happened to those delicious chickens," he said, his breath smelling strongly of Listerine.

  • They'll pay a fine (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 15, 2018 @09:40PM (#56132276)

    No one ever goes to jail. This country is so fucking corrupt.

  • Swamp Thing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Thursday February 15, 2018 @09:45PM (#56132316) Journal

    Serious question: Did Donald Trump appoint anyone who isn't corrupt, tied to neo-nazis or doesn't beat women? I mean, you'd think that by accident he'd have chosen at least one person for some department who isn't crooked or in some other manner fucked up. There's been so much turnover in the administration, at some point he will run out of shitty people to appoint.

    If any of you know of any member of the current administration who doesn't have the stink of corruption on them, could you please list them? I'll wait here. I really want to be proven wrong, because otherwise I'd have to accept Donald Trump as the world's greatest supervillain, and that would make me have to give him some grudging respect.

    • Re:Swamp Thing (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sgage ( 109086 ) on Thursday February 15, 2018 @09:48PM (#56132340)

      Trump drained the swamp alright - he drained it right into his administration. What a scam his whole campaign turns out to be - surprise surprise!

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        You don't get it, he has to hire them first so that he can fire them, otherwise how will he drain the swamp!?

    • I'm even wondering if the trump & staff trades pics of black and blue women they have beaten like pedophiles do with kiddie porn. Ivana claimed he raped her back in the day. Melanie does not stand close to him in photos.

    • by haruchai ( 17472 )

      "Serious question: Did Donald Trump appoint anyone who isn't corrupt, tied to neo-nazis or doesn't beat women? I mean, you'd think that by accident he'd have chosen at least one person for some department who isn't crooked or in some other manner fucked up. There's been so much turnover in the administration, at some point he will run out of shitty people to appoint"

      Rod Rosenstein? He did appoint Bob Mueller to head the investigation into Russian electoral interference which has caused Trump's orange symbio

      • Rod Rosenstein? He did appoint Bob Mueller to head the investigation into Russian electoral interference which has caused Trump's orange symbiont to stand on end

        You make a good point. It would be better if Trump hasn't been trying to fire Rosenstein for the past six months, but OK, I'll take it.

    • Pai was at the FCC before Trump.

    • Sure, there seem to be quite a few:

      Ben Carson: I have no reason to think he's corrupt or beats women, and he certainly isn't tied to neo-nazis. Now, whether he's competent in his current position, or any political position, is a different question.

      Rex Tillerson: He seems to be apathetic about his job, and not having fun, but he doesn't seem corrupt. Does have some high level ties to Russia in the past, but I'm not sure we've seen it effect his performance..

      Jim Mattis: Other than getting involved in Thera

      • Ben Carson...

        You make me feel a little better. I'll give you Mattis, although we thought the same thing about Kelly until he showed his true nature. Pence, Haley and Tillerson do not qualify.

        But at least I can sleep more soundly knowing that the President isn't an evil genius, just sort of a middling incompetent crook.

        • by q4Fry ( 1322209 )

          You've only now come to that conclusion? I've thought all along that Trump is a pompous narcissist out to make a buck. Even if he lost the election, he can trade on the speaking circuit for the rest of his life.

          The man is practically the caricature of someone in it for Money, Power, and Fame. But now he's discovered that power is delegated, not wielded; that fame is one wrong move from infamy; and that the money has to wait until he's no longer President.

          Does any evil genius "know all the best words?" Pleas

    • Outside of Mattis, not a one.
    • I heard this question raised on the (excellent) podcast Deep State Radio. Several of the guests ticked through the various secretaries and how awful they all were - except for Nikki Haley. She seems to have not embarrassed herself too bad yet.

  • by bogie ( 31020 ) on Thursday February 15, 2018 @09:50PM (#56132348) Journal

    If we had one single company that owned all the TV stations all the magazines all the radio stations and all the Internet infrastructure i'm sure we would get better customer service and the pricing would probably be better too. Why do liberals keep wanting to harm corporations who are just trying to innovate?

    • You jest, but remember, it was Republican Senator Owen Brewster who pushed for legislation that would give Pan Am the single-carrier international air monopoly for the U.S. [wikipedia.org].

      In the movie The Aviator, Brewster, played by Alan Alda, makes the claim that a single carrier would be able to provide better service to fliers than could multiple carriers.
      • by Zxern ( 766543 )

        At the rate their going now, he might be proven right in the end. Unless you're a first class passenger anyway.

  • by bobstreo ( 1320787 ) on Thursday February 15, 2018 @10:13PM (#56132460)

    Getting caught publicly.

    Couldn't happen to a more deserving person.

  • On one side, too good to be true. On the other side, Pai's unapologetic modus operandi.

    I'm 50-50 whether this story pans out.

  • It appears that it means to "gut" or "abolish" regulations.

  • Modernizing? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by omnichad ( 1198475 ) on Friday February 16, 2018 @12:05AM (#56133032) Homepage

    Yeah, "modernizing" a rule means forgetting what corruption led up to making the rules in the first place. Forget learning from past mistakes - corporations are better now. Less evil.

  • All things are possible when you own a politician. Ajit Pai has been owned for a long time. Everyone knows it. Hopefully he gets busted down a bit along with all who participated.
  • Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.

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