Congressmen demand investigation of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, Sinclair Broadcast Group

By William Gayde ยท 8 replies
Nov 14, 2017
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  1. Two members of the US House of Representatives have sent a formal letter to the Federal Communications Commission Inspector General calling for an investigation of Chairman Ajit Pai. Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Oversight and Government Reform Ranking Member Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD) believe Pai "has taken actions to improperly benefit Sinclair Broadcast Group."

    The investigation would focus on the interactions of Mr. Pai and officials at Sinclair Broadcast Group. The Congressmen believe Pai hasn't sufficiently answered questions related to these meetings and are hoping a federal investigation can clear things up.

    They are questioning whether or not Pai and others at the FCC have used personal messaging channels and private emails to communicate with Sinclair. This would be a violation of the Federal Records Act and the Freedom of Information Act. The second part of the investigation centers around whether or not Mr. Pai's actions have shown a pattern of preferential treatment towards Sinclair.

    Sinclair Broadcast Group is the second largest television station operator in the US and largest by total coverage. Their 173 different stations currently reach about 40% of American households and they are looking to grow by purchasing Tribune Media. Many believe recent decisions made by the FCC have been targeted to directly help Sinclair expand their reach. John Oliver ran a segment in July highlighting the practices of Sinclair and potential dangers of the merger.

    The FCC recently rolled back TV station ownership limits which required stations to maintain studios on the communities they serve. This Thursday the FCC will vote on elimination additional restrictions. In a response to the request for investigation, Chairman Pai's office stated:

    Unfortunately, this request appears to be part of many Democrats' attempt to target one particular company because of its perceived political views, an effort that dates all the way back to 2004 when Ranking Member Pallone, Ranking Member Cummings, and other Democrats demanded that the FCC investigate Sinclair based solely on the content of a documentary they didn't like and that hadn't even aired. Any claim that Chairman Pai is modifying the rules now to benefit one particular company is completely baseless. For many years, Chairman Pai has called on the FCC to update its media ownership regulations—one of which dates back to 1975. 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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  2. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 4,164   +2,637

    OH! Major revelation! And it only took them a year to figure that out, eh?
  3. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,538   +1,069

    It took them only a year for the dude to make a mistake that left a trail that could lead to his investigation =P
    Reehahs, MonsterZero and psycros like this.
  4. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 2,851   +1,393

    In their defense, he was only confirmed earlier this year.

    Because of his ties, he never should have been confirmed, IMO!

    His confirmation, at least as I see it, is yet another indication that those in power in DC could care less about the little guy even though those in power in DC claim to care about the little guy!
    jobeard likes this.
  5. SonicCrash

    SonicCrash TS Rookie

    What they did not do a background check to see if Patel was on BOD for Sinclair. I guess congress does not use google.
  6. ForgottenLegion

    ForgottenLegion TS Maniac Posts: 247   +243

    They just realised this guy could be corrupt?
    In other news snow is cold, water is wet and Trump is a buffoon.
    wiyosaya likes this.
  7. JoeNavy65

    JoeNavy65 TS Rookie

    The Republicans could confirm him without any Democrats and the Republicans weren't interested in investigating him.
  8. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,073   +1,343

    The appointment of the Twiddle-dee Twiddle-dumb needs to cease. Critical questions need to be ask in public hearings to confirm that the best interest OF THE PUBLIC would be served by a nominated appointee. Clearly Patel has no understanding of the Internet, let alone what Neutrality means or produces. Can we get Muller to look into his take from the lobbyists?
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2017
    wiyosaya likes this.
  9. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 2,851   +1,393

    Conservatives in congress know what google is? LOL The probably figure that that is the noise you make when you are trying to attract a goose on a goose hunt.

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