It’s no secret that FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is not exactly the most well-liked human being. Up until now, he’s just been a former lawyer for Verizon. Oh, and he killed Net Neutrality. Definitely not a popular decision, but by no means illegal. Pai is currently being investigated by the committee that oversees the FCC for using his position as chairman to help some friends complete a $3.9 billion deal. While the legality of things that may have been done has yet to be known, it is at the very least extremely unethical and one would hope, grounds for termination.
In this deal, Sinclair Broadcasting would buy Tribune Media. This deal would make Sinclair Broadcasting America’s biggest television broadcaster reaching 70% of American homes. In a place where having a monopoly (the business kind, not the game) is still a bad thing for just about everyone, this would effectively create one. This basically means your local news can become more of a cash grab than national or global news.
Pai obviously denies any collusion with Sinclair. The New York Times conducted an investigation on his dealings with Sinclair that was published back in August 2017. In it, they found that Mr. Pai met with David Smith, the chairman of Sinclair. Shortly after the meeting, Ajit eased regulations on how many stations a broadcaster can own. You can read the entirety of the NY Times investigation here, but here is an excerpt
Within days of their meeting, Mr. Pai was named chairman of the F.C.C. And during his first 10 days on the job, he relaxed a restriction on television stations’ sharing of advertising revenue and other resources — the exact topic that Mr. Pai discussed with Mr. Smith and one of his business partners, according to records examined by The New York Times.
If this turns out to be true, one has to wonder what Pai stands to gain. Would it monetary or would it be political? If the investigation finds any wrongdoing hopefully, these questions will be answered. Hook it up with a comment and let us know what you think of the whole situation.