Author Topic: Lawmakers demand investigation into FCC Chairman Ajit Pai  (Read 446 times)

John Poet

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Lawmakers demand investigation into FCC Chairman Ajit Pai
« on: November 14, 2017, 2147 UTC »
 Two Democratic lawmakers today called for an investigation into whether Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai "has taken actions to improperly benefit Sinclair Broadcast Group."

 The FCC has made several decisions that benefit Sinclair, a broadcast station owner with a right-wing tilt. Among other things, the FCC rolled back broadcast TV station ownership limits, which could help Sinclair complete an acquisition of Tribune Media Company and, in the process, reach 72 percent of TV-owning households in the US.

 According to two representatives, Pai hasn't sufficiently answered questions about his relationship with Sinclair. Those congressmen are Energy and Commerce ranking member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-N.J.) and Oversight and Government Reform ranking member Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), who said as much in a letter to FCC Inspector General David Hunt.

 Pallone and Cummings wrote that they have "repeatedly asked for all correspondence between Chairman Pai, his office, and Sinclair," without much success. Now they want the FCC inspector general to investigate. They continued: Because of the number of incidents where members of this administration have used personal communications services for government business, we also inquired whether the Chairman or his staff have used personal e-mail or social media messaging applications to communicate with Sinclair.
 The Chairman has repeatedly refused to answer these inquiries, raising questions about whether he is appropriately following Commission rules. FCC actions that help Sinclair, "when taken in context with reported meetings between the Trump Administration, Sinclair, and Chairman Pai's office, have raised serious concerns about whether Chairman Pai's actions comply with the FCC's mandate to be independent," the Democrats say.

 The Trump campaign "struck a deal with Sinclair Broadcast Group during the campaign to try and secure better media coverage," Politico reported in a December 2016 story that was mentioned in the Democrats' letter. Trump reportedly discussed potential FCC rule changes in a meeting with Sinclair's executive chairman, and Pai or his staff "have met with Sinclair representatives on numerous occasions," Pallone and Cummings wrote.



https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/11/lawmakers-demand-investigation-into-fcc-chairman-ajit-pai/

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BoomboxDX

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Re: Lawmakers demand investigation into FCC Chairman Ajit Pai
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2017, 0344 UTC »
Political posturing. TV viewership is in decline, TV news has less and less influence, and people are cutting cable to watch Netflix and other internet-based entertainment and social media, where increasing numbers of people get their news anyway (30% of Americans get their 'news' via Facebook, according to one recent study).

Some of these politicians just can't stand the idea that a conservative oriented company like Sinclair exists. But unfortunately, they don't realise that TV companies like Sinclair have less and less influence, while internet news sources (of all types) have more and more influence. If a company like Sinclair bought newspapers in 72 percent of the markets in the US, would they still be complaining?

Probably not.

TV isn't too far away from where newspapers are. The entire media picture is changing -- TV won't disappear, but it's become part of the whole -- internet, social media, streaming, radio, TV, print, etc. It's a whole new world today.
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ChrisSmolinski

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Re: Lawmakers demand investigation into FCC Chairman Ajit Pai
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2017, 1303 UTC »
Political posturing. TV viewership is in decline, TV news has less and less influence, and people are cutting cable to watch Netflix and other internet-based entertainment and social media, where increasing numbers of people get their news anyway (30% of Americans get their 'news' via Facebook, according to one recent study).

Related to this, the buying up of hundreds or thousands of radio stations by some of the large broadcasting companies.  With the proliferation of satellite radio, playing music via iPhones and iPods and such, fewer and fewer people are listening to the radio anymore.  The days of the WKRP type station with a large local staff are over. And not because they got bought up by the eeeeevil corporations, but because that business model no longer works. Which is why they got bought up in the first place, opponents of station consolidation have cause and effect backwards. Many of these stations are barely profitable. If you want to DX the small MW stations, better hurry up, in a decade or so most of them will be gone.

Ideally sections of the spectrum would be turned over to low power stations, but we all know the odds of that happening.

Meanwhile those same politicians turn a blind eye to Google and Facebook. Because the campaign contribution checks cleared.
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MDK2

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Re: Lawmakers demand investigation into FCC Chairman Ajit Pai
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2017, 1513 UTC »
The days of the WKRP type station with a large local staff are over. And not because they got bought up by the eeeeevil corporations, but because that business model no longer works. Which is why they got bought up in the first place, opponents of station consolidation have cause and effect backwards.

Of course, one has to wonder why they stopped being profitable. You mention WKRP, whom I remember had a major client in Red Wigglers, The Cadillac of Worms (). I think the decline of small businesses (which were largely bought up by bigger companies, or else went out of business because they couldn't compete) dried up revenue sources for smaller stations. Radio doesn't exist in its own separate economy, after all.

Anyway, I wouldn't count it out. Every time someone proclaims the death of this or that medium, it survives because it finds a way to adapt. Not everyone can afford satellite radio, or would consider such an expense. Over the air TV is still alive and well. The programming of online content is still subject to lowest common denominator sorts of decisions, but I would agree that that poses a challenge to the survival of radio, one greater than satellite radio IMO.
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Josh

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Re: Lawmakers demand investigation into FCC Chairman Ajit Pai
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2017, 1810 UTC »
This is wild speculation, but I imagine all the am listeners will be dead in 50 years or less, at least in Canada and USA. Does anyone know any kids or young adults that listen to am radio?

John Poet

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Re: Lawmakers demand investigation into FCC Chairman Ajit Pai
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2017, 2240 UTC »
All FCC chairman (and commissioners) are SCUM.

That's my position.


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BoomboxDX

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Re: Lawmakers demand investigation into FCC Chairman Ajit Pai
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2017, 2342 UTC »
This is wild speculation, but I imagine all the am listeners will be dead in 50 years or less, at least in Canada and USA. Does anyone know any kids or young adults that listen to am radio?

Probably minimal. When Radio Disney went off the AM band, maybe 16% of the listeners were listening to the AM Disney stations. So they were at least aware of the AM band. Possibly some ethnic younger listeners tune into the South Asian and other ethnic stations -- but I've never read any studies on that.

I'm certain that there are millennials who are sports fans that probably tune into sports talk stations. And maybe some of the religious teaching stations have a small younger audience -- for those who are into religion heavily. But overall, young people are abandoning radio -- not in massive numbers, but disturbing numbers.... And streaming isn't helping. A recent study hinted that young people who listen to online music streams do NOT stream local radio stations.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2017, 0256 UTC by BoomboxDX »
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redhat

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Re: Lawmakers demand investigation into FCC Chairman Ajit Pai
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2017, 1331 UTC »
As long as small stations fan find ways to stay important to the communities they serve, I think they'll be around.  Even ethnic programming is starting to flee for online versions of the same stuff, especially in larger markets.  On the bright side, if stations do start shutting down, some more elbow room will be had for DX'ing and low power/part 15 stuff.

Radio is fighting for a shrinking piece of the pie, but I still love it.  The fact that I can sit behind a mic and have someone thousands of miles away hear my voice in real time is pretty awesome.

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radiogaga

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Re: Lawmakers demand investigation into FCC Chairman Ajit Pai
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2017, 1552 UTC »

Radio is fighting for a shrinking piece of the pie, but I still love it.  The fact that I can sit behind a mic and have someone thousands of miles away hear my voice in real time is pretty awesome.

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Josh

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Re: Lawmakers demand investigation into FCC Chairman Ajit Pai
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2017, 1703 UTC »
This is wild speculation, but I imagine all the am listeners will be dead in 50 years or less, at least in Canada and USA. Does anyone know any kids or young adults that listen to am radio?

Probably minimal. When Radio Disney went off the AM band, maybe 16% of the listeners were listening to the AM Disney stations. So they were at least aware of the AM band. Possibly some ethnic younger listeners tune into the South Asian and other ethnic stations -- but I've never read any studies on that.

I'm certain that there are millennials who are sports fans that probably tune into sports talk stations. And maybe some of the religious teaching stations have a small younger audience -- for those who are into religion heavily. But overall, young people are abandoning radio -- not in massive numbers, but disturbing numbers.... And streaming isn't helping. A recent study hinted that young people who listen to online music streams do NOT stream local radio stations.


This is pretty much how I view it. That being said, ww3 could cut the cord aka innernets these younglings are addicted to and put everyone back on local radio stations for news and entertainment, at least those people and stations that survive.

Token

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Re: Lawmakers demand investigation into FCC Chairman Ajit Pai
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2017, 2124 UTC »
(30% of Americans get their 'news' via Facebook, according to one recent study).

And that is a sad state of affairs.  Most of the so-called "news" I see on Facebook is unsubstantiated rumor.  Some of it later turns out to be true, but the VAST majority of it contains severe errors in reporting, and much of it is out-and-out fabrication.  But the fact that some of it turns out to be true keeps bringing people back to it.  They perceive they are "getting it first" there, because things are quickly posted by multiple people before anyone bothers to fact check.

My wife has learned that the quickest way to make me stop listening is to say "I saw on FacebooK....".

T!
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MDK2

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Re: Lawmakers demand investigation into FCC Chairman Ajit Pai
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2017, 2327 UTC »
(30% of Americans get their 'news' via Facebook, according to one recent study).

And that is a sad state of affairs.  Most of the so-called "news" I see on Facebook is unsubstantiated rumor.  Some of it later turns out to be true, but the VAST majority of it contains severe errors in reporting, and much of it is out-and-out fabrication.  But the fact that some of it turns out to be true keeps bringing people back to it.  They perceive they are "getting it first" there, because things are quickly posted by multiple people before anyone bothers to fact check.

My wife has learned that the quickest way to make me stop listening is to say "I saw on FacebooK....".

T!

I would hasten to point out that Facebook, in this case, is nothing more than a medium akin to "television," "radio," or "newspaper." It's become a portal, the way search engines have become. So I can't see this as being any worse, because there is good, honest news in every medium, and distorted ax-grinding news. Facebook is no different.
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BoomboxDX

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Re: Lawmakers demand investigation into FCC Chairman Ajit Pai
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2017, 0031 UTC »
^^^^^^ The problem with FB unfortunately is that social and other internet media -- with the vast amount of accurate info actually available -- was supposed to make people smarter, not more gullible. Woops.

Like Token, I have seen a lot of junk on FB news postings. Links to questionable 'news' sources (sometimes they are just exaggerated blogs -- although other times they are indeed legit news stories from legit news sites), memes that are often exaggerations or out and out lies.

I've turned to clicking more of the music and cat videos in my news feed, and not clicking or responding to the news and political ones. The FB algorithm is useful in that way -- what you click on or respond to -- you get more of. :-)
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MDK2

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Re: Lawmakers demand investigation into FCC Chairman Ajit Pai
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2017, 0145 UTC »
^^^^^^ The problem with FB unfortunately is that social and other internet media -- with the vast amount of accurate info actually available -- was supposed to make people smarter, not more gullible. Woops.

Like Token, I have seen a lot of junk on FB news postings. Links to questionable 'news' sources (sometimes they are just exaggerated blogs -- although other times they are indeed legit news stories from legit news sites), memes that are often exaggerations or out and out lies.

I've turned to clicking more of the music and cat videos in my news feed, and not clicking or responding to the news and political ones. The FB algorithm is useful in that way -- what you click on or respond to -- you get more of. :-)

No doubt, but the same has been true of every past advancement in communication. Books have certainly been as full of fake information as any two-bit youtube channel or blog. You can't make people smarter just with easier access to information. Many will still take the easy way out and seek only that which affirms their beliefs. It's easier for those people to find each other and reaffirm one another thanks to the internet. But my point was merely that Facebook delivers the content, they don't create it. Whether that content is Reuters, Infowars, or the 2010's version of chain emails is up to the individual.
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Josh

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Re: Lawmakers demand investigation into FCC Chairman Ajit Pai
« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2017, 1708 UTC »
(30% of Americans get their 'news' via Facebook, according to one recent study).

And that is a sad state of affairs.  Most of the so-called "news" I see on Facebook is unsubstantiated rumor.  Some of it later turns out to be true, but the VAST majority of it contains severe errors in reporting, and much of it is out-and-out fabrication.  But the fact that some of it turns out to be true keeps bringing people back to it.  They perceive they are "getting it first" there, because things are quickly posted by multiple people before anyone bothers to fact check.

My wife has learned that the quickest way to make me stop listening is to say "I saw on FacebooK....".

T!

Agreed, the totalitarian zuckerberg narrative is part and parcel of controlling what the users read and think, to condition them for overt totalitarianism in the future. It's not as if suckerberg doesn't sell his users data to int agencies or anything.