FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is acknowledging that Russia-linked email addresses weighed in during the public comment process ahead of the FCC’s net neutrality repeal last year. Pai wrote in a court filing this week that it is a “fact” that a half-million comments were submitted from Russian email addresses during the public comment period, adding that most of those comments were in favor of net neutrality.
The FCC’s internal watchdog found no evidence of a “concealment or cover-up” by Chairman Ajit Pai on interactions with the White House related to the failed Sinclair-Tribune merger.
As expected, the FCC on Dec. 12 will officially launch its latest congressionally mandated “Quadrennial” review of broadcast ownership rules. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai did the unveiling Tuesday in his monthly blog post on the items the FCC plans to vote on at its next public meeting, which he does when the tentative agenda is released 21 days before the meeting.
FCC chair Ajit Pai says he has every intention of staying atop the FCC at least through the end of the president’s first term. That came in a press conference following the FCC’s monthly meeting Thursday.
Politico Pro is reporting that President Trump on Tuesday needled FCC Chairman Ajit Pai over “one decision” he didn’t like, an apparent reference to Pai’s move to doom the Sinclair-Tribune merger. Trump made the comment during a White House Diwali ceremony as he introduced Pai and turned to shake his hand. “I just didn’t like one decision he made, but that’s alright,” Trump said to laughs. “Not even a little bit. But he’s independent.” Politico Pro subscribers can read the full story here.
Pai is a classic free-market deregulator. The fewer rules governing business the better he likes it. That’s why it makes some sense that he will do nothing regarding proposals to raise the FCC’s station ownership cap. Why should he? The cap is plenty high now and any change is almost certain to end up challenged in court. Doing nothing also avoids any political blowback in Washington.
A spokesman for FCC Chairman Ajit Pai says that the chairman, who took over the post in January 2017, “plans to lead the FCC for the foreseeable future.” Pai — a Republican appointed to the commission by President Barack Obama in 2012, then named chair by President Donald Trump — was asked after the FCC’s Oct. 23 public meeting whether he planned to remain in that post if the Democrats took over the House in the midterm elections, as many are predicting.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is calling for greater oversight of major technology companies as Congress prepares to grill executives from Facebook and Twitter this week. Pai said in blog post published Tuesday that he’s concerned about how much power the internet platform companies wield, combined with allegations that the industry is biased against conservatives.
The FCC’s attorney general, its internal watchdog, cleared the agency’s Republican chairman, Ajit Pai, of showing any favoritism toward Sinclair Broadcasting Group in the review of its now-abandoned merger plans.