FCC Chairman Yuks Up His Policy Positions

from the it's-not-funny-'cause-it's-true dept

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin appeared at an FCC Bar Association event this week, cracking all sorts of jokes (via Broadband Reports) about the workings of the FCC, his policy positions, and criticism that he’s overly friendly to telcos. Perhaps it’s nice that the guy can make fun of himself and his fellow commissioners, but some of his jokes sound a little too realistic to really be very funny. For instance, Martin said this was the FCC’s new answering machine message: “Hi, you’ve reached the FCC. If this is AT&T, please press one for our merger approval hotline. If you’re calling from a Vonage phone, please hang up and dial from a Verizon phone. If this is the cable industry and you’re calling about a waiver, your call is very important to us [extended pause] goodbye.” When you consider Martin’s power in the industry, and how his views on all these issues determine the level (or lack) of competition in the industry, it’s hard to find jokes like that funny. Perhaps Martin and the lawyers he spoke to are laughing, but the poor service, high prices and lack of competition in several of the markets he oversees really aren’t too amusing.

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Comments on “FCC Chairman Yuks Up His Policy Positions”

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A Thibodeeaux says:

FCC is a joke

Anyone who lives in the southern part of the United States can certainly understand the problem with lack of competition, poor service and incompetent customer support. Having worked with different Telecommunications vendors the merger of AT & T and Bell South does nothing but assure that things will only get worst.
If you live in Louisiana thank Senator John Breaux for gutting the Telecommunication Act of 1992.

Karl says:

“Those jokes are hilarious”

I agree. Martin is the next Bill Hicks. Making light of dysfunctional telecom policy and the death of phone company competitors is like nectar from the funny bone gods.

I wish he had done his “I’m an ethically compromised paid AT&T tool” bit. I love that one. The props and costumes are “teh awesome.”

Allen Runneymeade says:

Techdirt, too Sirius

Little did I expect the sewing circle here at Techdirt to go all Barbara Boxer on Martin. We’re talking about telecom, not the Iraqi War. It’s okay for the Chairman to make a joke once in a while. The FCBA Chairman’s Dinner is a once-a-year tradition, much like the Coorespondant’s Dinner for the President, where curmudgeon, everything-is-serious attitudes should be checked at the door. Unfortunately, it appears that for snarky, know-it-all bloggers, self-effacing humor doesn’t live up to ivory-tower expectations.

Charlotte Wolter (user link) says:

Re: Techdirt, too Sirius

Dear Sirius,

It’s not funny when he jokes about policies that have worked to ensure that we continue to have a 19th-century communication system. The joke is on us, the consumers. We get to continue to pay for artificially priced, outmoded services. Martin has done inestimable damage to our competitiveness. The Internet is our technology. We had a chance to be the leader, but every year he is in office we fall behind. We could have been the “connected” country. Now we’re just some tired old has-been that doesn’t quite get it.

Tarky7 (profile) says:

Oh Yeah ?

The issue here is not about Iraq, or even unfair trade practice in the US market, the real issue is the revolving door between industry lobbyists and the government.

To go to the heart of the current problems our country is facing is to examine the comments of FCC Chairman Kevin Martin.

There needs to be a moratorium on this revolving door to protect our interests as citizens of this country, after all, it is our tax dollars paying this corrupt mercenary to protect we the people from monopolistic business practices.

As to the humor ?

Guess the joke is on us, the taxpayer and consumer.

Ha Ha, Hee Hee, Ho Ho.

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