LEAKED: Head Of FCC Mocks Impending Destruction Of The Internet

By the comedy news show “Redacted Tonight that airs every Friday on RT America and at YouTube.com/RedactedTonight.Originally published at the website of Lee Camp, the the host and head writer of “Redacted Tonight” and a former comedy writer for the Onion and the Huffington Post

Last week, the FCC held its annual “Telecom Prom”- an affair filled with industry executives and employees. The event has a strict no camera policy, but thanks to an anonymous spy, we have a small window into the mentality of our ruling class, to whom public outcry is nothing more than a giant joke.

Let’s break down the most horrifying moments of Mr. Pai’s 28-minute speech:

Pai jokes that in preparation for this event, he crowd-sourced the joke writing process and received 22 million jokes, 7 million of which were fake submissions by bots. Here Pai is alluding to the enormous number of fake comments submitted to the FCC to drown out the public’s cry in support of continuing net neutrality.  (One can assume these bot-driven comments were created by the big telecoms or their allies.)

Yet even this joke drastically low-balled the ratio of fake responses to genuine ones.  Jon Fingas writes that out of the 22 million comments, “… only 800,000 appear to be genuinely original — and 99 percent of the real comments support net neutrality.” New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman wrote  “… the FCC has refused multiple requests for crucial evidence in its sole possession that is vital to permit that law enforcement investigation to proceed.” This could even lead to lawsuits.  That the FCC fails to remedy this outright fraud should be illegal, yet Pai’s audience has no problem cackling at the notion of Pai ignoring an overwhelming majority of the country by refusing to follow a legitimate process.

Pai sarcastically discloses that Sinclair Broadcasting is sponsoring the event, citing the “must-run content” Sinclair distributes to the local news stations it owns. This reference is to Sinclair’s conservative-leaning programming, and it elicits a wave of laughter from the room because Pai paved the way for Sinclair’s proposal to merge with Tribune Media when the FCC stopped limiting the number of TV stations that broadcasters like Sinclair could buy. The Sinclair/Tribune merger, which we covered on Redacted Tonight this past May, and John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight tackled this past July, would extend Sinclair’s reach to 72% of American households. The FCC is expected to approve the deal, despite the fact that both sides of the aisle are arguing it will give the merged company “far more reach into American households than the law allows.”

Since media consolidation and corporate control of information is clearly a real side splitter, Pai makes another bid for crowd laughter by presenting his edition of the “Distracted Boyfriend” meme: “How do you choose between your longtime love and your newfound crush?” he asks, displaying himself holding hands with Verizon, while eyeing Sinclair. Here Pai blatantly acknowledges his complicity in allowing a major news monopoly to control even more TV airwaves. The crowd finds the destruction of the media landscape a real knee-slapper.

A little later, Pai asserts that the White House can’t influence the FCC. “Who do you think we are, the Antitrust Division?” he cracks. When this joke prompts a groan, he defends himself against his offended audience of elites and responds, “I used to work there, I’m allowed to make that joke.” Thus Pai has inadvertently confessed to YET ANOTHER conflict of interest – former employment at the corrupt antitrust unit of the Department of Justice, which is MEANT to be the government’s way to protect consumers against predatory business practices. What could be more amusing than a government systematically screwing over its people at the behest of big business??

Then, in a tongue-in-cheek response to the question of how a former Verizon lawyer became head of the FCC, he presents a homemade skit of a conversation between a Verizon executive and a young Ajit Pai.


The person playing the Verizon executive is actually Kathy Grillo, the real-life current senior vice president of Verizon. “As you know,” Grillo begins, “industry has captured the FCC, but we don’t feel it’s captured enough.” She explains that “we [Verizon] want to brainwash and groom a Verizon puppet to put in as the head of the FCC.”  But of course, Verizon didn’t “brainwash” Pai. They simply promote those who act as their faithful foot soldiers. “This is going to take 14 years,” Grillo continues, with a line meant to make you laugh at how ridiculous this “conspiracy theory” plan would be. Of course, what they won’t say, is that the telecom industry didn’t need such an elaborate strategy. They simply make political donations (READ: bribe) to get what they want. When enough government officials are on their payroll, they can appoint and confirm whoever they want, and Ajit Pai’s history proved he would be complicit in whatever they needed done. This was not some crazy scheme hatched 14 years ago. It’s just corporations taking over the levers of the state. You don’t need a formal conspiracy when interests align. So Pai rose up the ranks and had full support from the telecom industry when he was at the FCC. This is how industry “captures” regulatory agencies, but pointing this out as if it’s not reality is merry entertainment to those on the inside.

While not surprising, it is truly astonishing to see the conflict-of-interest greed monsters who run this country outwardly laugh about how corrupt they are. This video made my blood boil because it’s a perfect look into the psychology of the elite. Our protest is hilarious to them, and criticism of a regulatory agency captured by special interests is something to be mocked. The fact that telecoms essentially dictate the policies meant to keep them in check is a mere detail. The telecoms will kill net neutrality rules as planned  unless we stand up now. Go here for more info. 

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  1. Disturbed Voter

    Keep voting R-D party … get same result. They can’t be reformed from within, under Citizens United … unless you are a group of billionaires.

    1. Samuel Conner

      Or unless you are a candidate who mobilizes large numbers of people with a program of “concrete, universal, material benefits”. Sanders did astonishingly well in the 2016 primary. Without chicanery like the abbreviated debate schedule and NY voter purges, he might have won a majority of the elected delegates.

      Admittedly, faced with at best a centrist D Congress, he would have accomplished little right away, but might have been able to bully-pulpit toward a progressive majority in 2018.

      But that’s a hypothetical might-have-been long shot. I agree, it will be very hard to shift the D party from within.

      A helpful proposal for how to navigate the difficult dilemma of whether to try to “work from within to change the Ds” (seemingly impossible) or “start an alternative party to the Ds” (also seemingly impossible) was recently highlighted at NC. Here it is again:


      1. dk

        Agreed, but I think Trump is showing us that an aggressive presidential agenda can be advanced on many fronts even without congressional support.

    2. Samuel Conner

      Borrowing Lambert’s 1%/10%/90% breakdown of US class/income hierarchy from his recent post on “embodiment”, if just 1% of the 10% were to become “class traitors” — politically active on behalf of interests larger than their own narrow class interests — it would mobilize resources on the scale of what the billionaires are able to do. And Sanders showed that small donors en masse (a few % of the 90%) can match the resources the party duopoly currently is able to mobilize from the narrow constituency it serves.

      I think there are grounds for optimism, but tempered with realism. It will require patience and perseverance and a lot of effort.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        People forget that the French Revolution did not start as peasants in the street with pitchforks, it was the 1% who figured out how screwed they were by the .01%, the peasants and tumbrils came later. So yes, class defections by the 10% would be key. Either that or a teensy weensy microscopic grain of actual morality and justice and compassion in the lizard brains of people like Bezos and Koch. LOL! I crack myself up!

  2. Barry Fay

    The chances of the Democratic Party being anything other than Republican light have become even more remote with the “victory” of Jones over Moore. Just heard Perez, the DNC chair, talking as if it is the current party´s “message” that won the election – NOT, the whole brouhaha about sexual misconduct and all the national media attention. Ensconced!

  3. J-Pierre de Lutz

    Ten years ago crossing the Atlantic we were caught in post named sub-tropical storm Bertha, saved in extremis 200+ miles off Hatteras by a USCG crew that went beyond the call of duty.
    I investigated for two years why my GPIRB failed and how the USCG woke a sailor in his home in Georgia with my hexadecimal data in NOAA’s database, and why the unit failed after barely an hour after initiation straight out of recertification. (We were ultimately saved by and old obsolete EPIRB from a prior boat that I thought sunk with all on-deck equipment after a rogue wave estimated over 120′ cleared the deck. (see USCG video of rescue https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zysYel6hcRA&feature=youtu.be)
    We finally had proof that the manufacturer had cloned my GPIRB and over a thousand others, including company memoranda recognizing it was a “duplicate” (I still have both units on my mantlepiece).
    We ultimately addressed our investigation to the FCC which sided with the manufacturer without investigating further.

    1. visitor

      If I understand correctly, you had some kind of beacon that supposedly sends a unique identifier with its position so that rescue teams can find shipwrecks, but the manufacturer just burned in the same id in all its product items, resulting in coast guards running in wild errands. This looks like a violation of some certification and legal requirements, but this did not bother the FCC.


      Was there a class action suit following those events?

    2. JacobiteInTraining

      Wow, dramatic footage! The USCG sure does good service in these cases.

      I’ve spent plenty of time on commercial fishing boats at the mouths of big rivers and in relatively sheltered waters in SE AK, but ohhhh my….I have never had much gumption to go any further into the open sea, and thinking of huge waves like that sure doesn’t add any further motivation… :)

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        That’s a good one! (slaps knee and doubles up in convulsive laughter)

        Next you’ll be funning about a piece of paper supposedly called The Constitution of the United States

        You should do standup comedy!

      2. J-Pierre de Lutz

        Spent 30k in legal fees, team wanted to go ahead but I couldn’t front fees over 100k. Complaint to FCC summed here “After a year investigating why my GPIRB failed, it now has been confirmed by NOAA COSPAS SARSAT that my GPIRB was duplicated by both serial number and hexadecimal code by XXXXX, who apparently did not properly manage the sequential codes as required by FCC Regulations, leading the USCG to delay its response to me and my crew.”
        Buyer of the cloned unit registered his unit some time after my original registration, NOAA contractor thought unit had been resold and crushed my data. NOAA changed DB management as a result of my findings.
        In nutshell, SN’s of exported units were duplicated for CONUS sales under premiss : what risk of US national with US documented vessel buying GPIRB abroad to be registered in NOAA DB, crossing Atlantic, initiating the unit, surviving WITH the unit to tell his story.
        Manufacturer tried to persuade USCG that UK authorities modified the unit, department head denied officially three times but FCC used the argument to reject my complaint.
        A best selling author wrote a book about the events “A Storm Too Soon” by Michael Tougias. More on my website http://www.artseaprovence.com
        Cheers, JP

  4. Jeremy Grimm

    One of the links — I believe in one of Lambert’s recent posts — indicated the two women on the FCC had declared in favor of net neutrality and only the two men other than Pai were undeclared or had declared in favor of Pai’s proposal. I send an email to both men on the FCC — not Pai — to plead with them to support net neutrality. One of the two Mignon Clyburn auto-responded with an email and a link to a two-page statement which seemed to indicate he would not vote for Pai’s proposal:
    “Commissioner Clyburn has been an unwavering champion of robust, bright-line net neutrality rules that protect consumers against the anti-consumer and anti-competitive practices of broadband providers.” — [FACT SHEET Understanding Chairman Pai’s Proposal to Dismantle Net Neutrality Prepared by the Office of FCC Commissioner Clyburn
    November 22, 2017]

    There are five commissioners on the FCC:
    Ajit Pai – Ajit.Pai@fcc.gov
    Mignon Clyburn – Mignon.Clyburn@fcc.gov
    Michael O’Reilly – Mike.O’Rielly@fcc.gov
    Brendan Carr – Brendan.Carr@fcc.gov
    Jessica Rosenworcel – Jessica.Rosenworcel@fcc.gov

    And the vote was supposed to be tomorrow on 14 December 2017.

    Are the these names and email addresses correct? Have the two women already declared in favor of net neutrality? Can anyone give me the skinny on this?

    1. allan

      Mignon Clyburn was on the PBS Newshour last night and came out strongly in favor of net neutrality.

      In a just world, Ajit Pai would be thrown off the FCC and barred from ever serving in government again.
      In this world, he will prevail, 3-2, and be well rewarded when he returns to the private sector.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        Thanks! I went back and sent emails to all the members of the FCC board including Pai making a plea to maintain net neutrality and do not approve FCC-Circ1712-04.

  5. Aaron C

    My favorite part of the Portland protest was when someone started talking about turning ISPs into public utilities. Later we chanted “The In-ter-net should be / A public utility!”

    I can’t help but think that the telecom industry is overreaching on this one. We seem to be OK with censorship (as long as it is someone else being censored) but no one likes paying higher prices for inferior service. If telecoms won’t share the toys we gave them, perhaps they shouldn’t have them at all.

    1. Kurt Sperry

      I agree. This sort of haughtily ignoring of the empirically overwhelming popular will is sufficient provocation to spur the nationalization movement into high gear. At this point, [familyblog] regulating the bastards, it’s time to take away their toys.

    2. readerOfTeaLeaves

      I’m also of a mind they are overreaching.

      A lot of you want to call your Congresscritters.
      But please, also call your governors!

      My governor, Jay Inslee, held an online session today for people to communicate about NN (unfortunately, I had a conflict 8((
      Here is his statement, with links to more info:

      States have made huge investments in telecomm. Every single governor, mayor, city official, state official, and council member needs to see that Pai views them with utter contempt.

      They need to see Pai and the other faces behind the looting.
      The sooner, the better.

  6. jfleni

    A few years ago, CHARLIE (FCC) decreed that low-power local radio stations could not be licensed, all because some plutocrat radio station turds complained; then a sudden wave of “Radio Free Podunk” sites came on the air, all unlicensed.

    Rules were very suddenly changed! It’s even easier now for TV and Internet; (think thousands of vacant UHF channels, and very cheap relectronics from China or Mexico)! Good luck CHARLIE!

  7. Altandmain

    The telecommunications industry has clearly bribed Ajit Pai. We need to know what else went on behind closed doors. Did they promise Pai a lot of speech money like the Clinton family or some other highly paid gig?

    The only hope that we have is that the Republicans have overreached and that this will prompt some sort of blowback. This and this tax cuts for the rich alike are pretty naked class warfare.

    The question is, will enough of the general public rise to the occasion? I for one am in favor of municipal broadband and outright nationalization if it comes to that. Also, it is clear that the rich are not paying their fair share, and that’s not even taking into consideration the fact that they are hiding loads of money in tax havens.

    1. Lord Koos

      Like recent presidents of both parties, no doubt Pai will be well-off for life after his term is over…

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