Friday, May 13, 2011

860 Pure Coincidence

Note: Posting was delayed several hours by Google's now-legendary Blogger Crash.
860 Pure Coincidence

This is pure coincidence, of course, and we all know it. One of the five sitting Federal Communications Commissioners, Meredith Baker, 43, is leaving government service. She has a new job. She will be senior vice president for government affairs in the Washington office of the country’s largest cable TV company, Philadelphia-based Comcast.

What does the senior vice president for government affairs do at Comcast? She makes the wishes of her employer known to congress. In the real world, the job is “lobbyist,” in deed if not in name. She can’t lobby the White House or the agency for a couple of years. But there always are errand boys for that. And there are no restrictions on lobbying senators and representatives.

Baker was one of the majority of FCC commissioners to approve Comcast’s acquisition of controlling interest in NBC Universal.

Since the vote was 4-1, Comcast had a field of four “strong external candidates” for the new job.

Pure coincidence. The job just happened to be open and that such highly qualified candidates are around for the plucking.

Of course they probably narrowed the choice to Republicans, and that winnowed the field down to two candidates. The other is Robert McDowell (R-VA), 47. The young-faced but grey-haired McDowell looks kind of like the guy who sends you little prayer cards with pictures of Jesus along with the life insurance policy or bottle of patent medicine he sells you. Better to pick a vigorous woman with a cheerleader smile.

Okay, so Comcast gets to run NBC, a major mistake on the part of GE (which still owns a good chunk, but not good enough to stop Comcast from doing whatever it wants,) and the commission, and everyone else who rushed this thing to approval. (Yes, it took a year, officially. But it was in the bag long before that.)

Comcast insists that negotiations with Baker didn’t begin until after the acquisition was approved. Probably so. But might there have been hints? Perish forbid, no! They just woke up one morning and said “Y’know, that Meredith whats-her-name would probably be a good pick...”

Came to ‘em in a flash of inspiration, it did. Never mind that she was originally a Bush appointee and is a Texan. Never mind that she never met a corporate position she didn’t love and vote for. That’s all just Pure Coincidence.

Highly qualified, she is. Just ask anyone at Comcast.

Well, working in a good private house is a lot safer and easier than walking the streets at night. We all know what the streets of Washington are like after dark.

Shrapnel:

--Comcast raised our cable rates so often and by so much they drove us to switch to satellite. Comcast headquarters is the tallest phallic symbol in Philadelphia. Comcast has big surprises coming when it tries to impose its corporate culture on NBC.

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please send comments and lawyer letters to wesrichards@gmail.com.
© WJR 2011

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