Regulatory capture: FCC Commissioner joins Comcast-NBC

No matter how strongly I feel about an issue, I try to keep my discussions civil. Things like this really strain the standards of common decency.

Regulators are tasked to serve the public interest, but for Atwell to play a major role in approving the Comcast/NBC merger and then accept a fat paycheck from them months afterward is absurd. The American people have forgotten the meaning of “conflict of interest” and regulatory capture rules the day.

I really hope people get worked up about this.

F.C.C. Commissioner Leaving to Join Comcast

8:02 p.m. | Updated WASHINGTON — Four months after the Federal Communications Commission approved a hotly contested merger of Comcast and NBC Universal, one of the commissioners who voted for the deal said on Wednesday that she would soon join Comcast’s Washington lobbying office.

Meredith Attwell Baker, a former Commerce Department official who worked on telecommunications issues in George W. Bush’s administration, announced that she would leave the F.C.C. when her term expires at the end of June. At Comcast, she will serve as senior vice president for government affairs for NBC Universal, which Comcast acquired in January.

The announcement drew immediate criticism from some groups that had opposed the Comcast-NBC merger. They said the move was indicative of an ethically questionable revolving door between regulatory agencies and the companies they oversee.

The revolving door between government and the lobbyists who seek to influence public policy and legislation on behalf of companies or other organizations was a target of reform by President Obama even before he took office. During the 2008 campaign, he vowed to “close the revolving door” and “clean up both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue” with “the most sweeping ethics reform in history.”


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