back to article FCC inspector general sticks corruption probe into chairman Ajit Pai amid $4bn media merger

The chairman of America's broadband watchdog – the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) – is under investigation by the regulator's inspector general following a series of decisions that appear to favor one of the country's largest media owners. Since taking over as chair in January 2017, Ajit Pai has made big play of his …

  1. InfiniteApathy

    I suppose we finally know who had their fingers in this Pai

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Oh great look at that. Now we got Generation X 1%ers with not only fingers in but being the Pai too now. Sigh.

    2. hellwig

      I figured Pai would go back to Verizon with his repeal of net neutrality. It was a feint. He gestured at the internet, but was really working the other end for traditional media. Brilliant! When was the last time a corrupt[Ed: redundant] FCC chairperson wasn't focused on the Internet, ISPs, cable, etc...?

      Over-the-air TV is truly a return to form. Maybe this is a double feint, and he's working something else regarding radio for ClearChannel? What more could they want?

      1. Fatman
        WTF?

        Pai's career options

        <quote>What more could they want?</quote>

        The Best Government Money Can Buy!!!!

        </snark>

  2. Queeg

    Finally some heat pointed it Pai's direction

    Burn, baby burn

    1. kain preacher

      Re: Finally some heat pointed it Pai's direction

      I real hate when pai goes bad:(

  3. JohnFen Silver badge

    Corruption

    Pai is as corrupt as the day is long. Unfortunately, this appears to be considered a desirable trait by the powers that be in the federal government these days.

    1. Stu Mac

      Re: Corruption

      "These days"

      what alternative universe have you been living in?

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Corruption

        Corruption isn't new. The acceptance and celebration of it is, though.

        1. kain preacher

          Re: Corruption

          You mean like in those shit hole countries trump talks about ?

      2. katgod

        Re: Corruption

        I think he was referring to the large increase not that corruption didn't exist BT.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Corruption

      No doubt corruption in Washington is "business as usual", but meanwhile Trump's supporters really believe he's draining the swamp when he's actually made it deeper than it was under Obama. He's got Pai obviously operating with a backdoor deal to be hired by Sinclair the moment he leaves the FCC - no doubt he believes (probably correctly) that he'll be able to get his "job" done and quit before they're able to stop him.

      Trump has multiple cabinet members traveling first class or on military aircraft for various bullshit reasons, which was never done in previous administrations and is quite clearly in violation of government travel regulations. He successfully in some cases and unsuccessfully in others appointed a string of utterly unqualified people to posts with specific requirements (like a right wing radio host without a science degree to a position as "chief scientist" of the Department of Agriculture, I guess because he was from Iowa he must know agriculture?)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Corruption

      Let them eat Pai.

    4. Fatman
      Thumb Up

      Re: Corruption

      <quote>Unfortunately, this appears to be considered a desirable trait by the powers corporations that be in own the federal government these days.</quote>

      There!

      FTFY

  4. Kev99

    Doesn't surprise me any. The FCC won't even enforce its own rules on broadband definition and access, such as with Frontier Communications. And if you want to contest anything the FCC does (or doesn't do) better have deep pockets. It'll cost you a minimum of $1,000 ($275 filing fee, plus attorney fees for filing) to file a formal complaint. Informal complaints are a joke, by the way.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      And I take it a direct suit against the FCC or Pai personally won't go anywhere?

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        In order to sue the FCC or Pai over this issue, you need standing to sue, which means that whoever brings the suit has to show that they were personally and directly harmed by the action.

        Plus, suing a governmental agency is a different kettle of fish, and under the best of circumstances is an enormously difficult thing to do. It's hard to even get it to court. Not impossible obviously, but the chances of success are always low.

  5. MT Field

    Lovely America.

  6. ST Silver badge
    Devil

    Why am I enjoying reading this sooo much?

    I know it's unhealthy. I love it and I am not ashamed.

  7. DCFusor Silver badge

    The bright side of these clowns being incompetent at hiding their corruption is that more people notice and will cut it less slack in general - at least in their minds. Too bad keyboard warrior skills don't count for much. How did all media wind up in such limited ownership over the past....few decades? This isn't new, it's just more blatant.

    People should get mad as hell and refuse to take it anymore. Oh, but if I make trouble, they might cut off my sports-ball cable or something.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just Doing His Job

    Pai has only done what he was hired to do. There is nothing that he has done that a

    presidential pardon can't fix.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Just Doing His Job

      And didn't I read something, somewhere, about pre-emptive Presidential Pardons just in case a favoured person might do something wrong in the future? An effective Get Out Of Jail Free card?

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: Just Doing His Job

        I think it can't be "pre-emptive" but needs at least a charge being filed... either criminal or by Congress.

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: Just Doing His Job

          The Constitutionality of preemptive pardons, like the issue of whether or not a President can pardon himself, is unsettled -- but it should be noted that it's been done before, most recently when Ford pardoned Nixon even though there were no criminal charges against him.

  9. DarkLordofSurrey
    Coat

    All this money flying about I guess they're using Pai Pal...

  10. Mark 85 Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Looks like the feces is about to hit the rotating air movement device. Unless, of course, there's intervention from "above" such as someone suddenly getting fired for daring to investigate. In the meantime, popcorn anyone?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But... he seemed like such a stand up guy!

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pai's MO

    Pai "repeatedly refused to adequately respond to,"

  13. Tom Servo

    American Pai - The Sequel

    Tagline - This time, the Pai fucks you.

  14. LDS Silver badge
    Flame

    "Where do you find that kind of courage"

    "It's hard, Armstrong, but every time I see a new check, I know I'm doing right and my courage returns - did you bring yours??"

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Follow the Money!!!

    As I was scrolling down the first page of the article, what was in my mind was "Follow the Money" - Spooky, as Dame Edna would say

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Clearly a new definition of "Drain the swamp"

    Mmmm.... I didn't realise that

    "Drain the swamp"

    actually meant

    "Keep filling the swamp up with more and more stuff such that it completely overflows"

    Perhaps it got lost in translation.

    1. hellwig

      Re: Clearly a new definition of "Drain the swamp"

      Overflows and blows the levees, then floods the entire surrounding area. The original swamp is drained, but all the surrounding land is just swamp now.

      It's brilliant!

      1. Robert 22

        Re: Clearly a new definition of "Drain the swamp"

        An the alligators are Yuge!

    2. Chemical Bob

      Re: Clearly a new definition of "Drain the swamp"

      Looks more like "Swamp the drain"...

    3. oldcoder

      Re: Clearly a new definition of "Drain the swamp"

      Currently it means to fill the swamp with hazmat refuse that no one else will accept.

  17. Alistair
    Windows

    Dammit.

    I can normally get into the sport of poking at the Pai. I have earned more than a few upvotes on said sport. For some reason this morning I'm just not on point. I just cannot comprehend how someone in his position, seeing this train coming down the track, can stand there and honestly believe (and I figure he *has* to believe) that they have done nothing wrong. There must be something seriously wrong with the brain of such an individual. And this "wrong", be it disease, or invalid reasoning, or broken logic, or some sort of psychosis seems to be utterly pervasive in politics. Globally, although the Americans seem to make parading it about on stage and trumpetting it to the world a celebration. I suspect my tolerance is running thin again and I need to take a vacation away from human beings.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      "There must be something seriously wrong [...]"

      In one word: GREED

      1. katgod

        Re: "There must be something seriously wrong [...]"

        Yes GREED but celebrated like there are no consequences.

    2. Commswonk Silver badge

      Re: Dammit.

      I just cannot comprehend how someone in his position, seeing this train coming down the track, can stand there and honestly believe (and I figure he *has* to believe) that they have done nothing wrong. There must be something seriously wrong with the brain of such an individual. And this "wrong", be it disease, or invalid reasoning, or broken logic, or some sort of psychosis seems to be utterly pervasive in politics.

      IMHO all you need to remember is that narcissistic personalities and sociopathic personalities are real, not imaginary. Both types are attracted to politics because "control freakery" features in both types.

      Possibly at the other end of the scale look back at yesterday's El Reg story about the computer miscreant who burst into tears when handed a two year custodial sentence. Finding out the rules did apply to him after all was probably quite painful experience.

      The Gupta brothers in South Africa might be about to make a similar discovery.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Boiling point

    The problem with corruption in America is that action has never been taken before without there first being some obvious, gargantuan scandal to trigger it. Won't lay down a history lesson here, but that's a fact. So what's going on is really necessary to have things reach the boiling point.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Boiling point

      Except this time around the hat's only been rising gradually, allowing people to get used to it the way a frog gets used to a slowly-heating pot.

  19. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Mr David Hunt

    Good hunting Sir

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A coup is not a coup if they've followed all the rules...

    The nice (?) thing about the USA is that the average resident commits (famously) 'Three Felonies A Day...' (by Harvey Silverglate, 2009).

    Because of this, once you're in the crosshairs, sooner or later, you'll be offered a plea bargain. 4700 years or only 24 years if you plead guilty.

    Pure raw power struggle. Only thing missing is gun fire. That's down the street at the unrelated massacre.

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