FCC Commissioner O'Rielly: Nobody Takes Me Seriously After Voting Down Every Consumer-Friendly FCC Policy This Year

from the obstruction-junction dept

FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly will never be confused with a consumer advocate or champion of the people. He’s voted down nearly every consumer-friendly FCC initiative that has come down the pike, whether that’s net neutrality, raising the base definition of broadband to 25 Mbps, or fighting back against state protectionist broadband laws written by ISPs to protect their uncompetitive geographic fiefdoms. O’Rielly most recently made waves by proudly declaring, as an employee of an agency tasked with ensuring timely deployment of broadband to all Americans, that he really didn’t think broadband was all that necessary.

Hand in hand with anti-net-neutrality Commissioner Ajit Pai, a former Verizon regulatory lawyer, the two form sort of a knee-jerk, objectionist Commission superhero that opposes everything in its path under the pretense of a deeper, mysteriously undefinable ethos. The dynamic duo have even objected to holding AT&T accountable for ripping off taxpayer money earmarked for the poor.

With that as a backdrop, it was entertaining to see CNET push forth a bit of a puff piece helping O’Rielly portray himself as some sort of unfairly ostracized hero of the Commission, whose insights aren’t being taken seriously:

“It takes time and effort to soldier on and make your arguments,” he said…”I do the work you’d expect me to do. I read every item. I do my homework. And I make substantive suggestions. But I’m often shot down.”

Of course it’s actually O’Rielly that’s doing the shooting, bravely voting no on nearly every single issue of the day. When AT&T was fined for throttling “unlimited” connections and lying about it, O’Rielly stood up for the little guy, bravely calling the FCC’s behavior “Draconian” (Pai, in contrast, compared the FCC’s behavior to Kafka). Still, O’Rielly lays the blame at the feet of Wheeler and company:

“O’Rielly and his Republican colleague, Ajit Pai, have opposed all the major Democrat-supported issues that have passed, in large part due to philosophical differences they have with their colleagues across the political aisles on these issues. But O’Rielly said what has truly frustrated him is what he sees as an unwillingness by the FCC leadership to find consensus on any issue.

Partisan patty cake at the Commission is certainly nothing new. Except as we’ve noted, most people on both sides of the aisle think Wheeler is actually doing a shockingly good job for a former industry lobbyist many expected little from. He’s shaken off fifteen years of the status quo, and is actually doing something about the woeful state of broadband competition instead of paying politically-safe lip service to the idea. He also managed to implement real net neutrality protections, an idea that’s supported by Democrats and Republicans alike.

It’s repeatedly unclear to me how you can be a career obstructionist, then cry when policy and conversation moves on without you. Indeed, O’Rielly tells CNET he’s just a hard working fellow who desperately wishes the there was “more receptivity to finding common ground.” CNET responds by failing to ask O’Rielly a single difficult question regarding how he aligns this hallucinated persona with his actual anti-consumer and anti-Internet voting record.

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Comments on “FCC Commissioner O'Rielly: Nobody Takes Me Seriously After Voting Down Every Consumer-Friendly FCC Policy This Year”

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Anonymous Coward says:

O’Rielly and Pai want cushy jobs in the industry they are now tasked with regulating when they hang up their regulator shoes. Whereas, Wheeler, on the other hand, is arguably past that point in his life. So, of course they are going to say no to any, even tangentially, pro-consumer policy.

Oh, and they are Republicans, not necessarily to throw off on one party or the other. Personally I think both parties are morally bankrupt. But, the Republican party didn’t become known as the “Party of No” for no reason.

Mason Wheeler (profile) says:

Re: Re:

No, they became known as the “Party of No” because the president is a Democrat and they’re working to obstruct his agenda. If the current president was Republican, the Republicans would be the party of progress (for certain highly-specific and probably unintuitive definitions of “progress”) and the Democrats would be the Party of No. That’s just the way the game is played these days.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

You can play chess or checkers. Most of all obstructionism is not the answer to everything. While it is great for pointing fingers at your opponents 4 of your fingers are pointing at yourself…

Wether or not Democrats would be more cooperative as in accepting a slightly worse deal to avoid a very bad deal is of course a good question. The political climate is extremely hostile to suggestions without a clear win-fall in the back. It is way better to accept money for opinions rather than relying on “public opinions”. Even if you lose the political battle you win economically. It has the nasty sideeffect of hurting double on issues where one side dominate the other economically.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

In this case, though, there was no amount of compromise that would get the Republicans to agree to anything. This was an overt strategy on the part of Republican leadership that they discussed publicly.

The idea was to obstruct every single thing that came from Democrats so that during elections seasons they could claim that Democrats failed to accomplish anything.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

What assurances do we have you can show up the already present do-nothings?

If the idiot you responded to does not see it now, then they never will.

Like the dunning kreuger affect
he just lacks the capability to even understand it on a fundamental level and until he decides to remediate his ignorance, its not going to change a thing, just another sheeple stuck in the 2-party psuedo war where only the followers fight while the leaders greet each other every day and laugh at the stupidity of their followers saying… “That should keep them busy, lets have lunch”.

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