After Not Being Hired By XM, Former Attorney General Starts Shilling For NAB

from the who-pays-the-most-not-who's-right dept

One of the more entertaining issues stemming from the announcement of the XM-Sirius merger has been to see the way the National Association of Broadcasters, the trade group for terrestrial radio stations, has handled itself. One of the key issues in getting government approval for the merger will be to see how the FCC, DOJ and other groups consider the market. If they view the satellite companies' competition solely as each other, approval will be unlikely. But if they correctly consider it to be the wider "audio entertainment" market, including iPods and MP3 players, internet services and, indeed, terrestrial radio, the merger stands a much better chance of approval. The NAB keeps taking every available opportunity to say how the merger is such a bad idea, but its continued drum-beating makes it pretty obvious that despite the party line, they really do see satellite radio as competition -- basically proving XM and Sirius' point. Further underlining the NAB's hypocrisy is the involvement of former Attorney General John Ashcroft on its behalf. He sent a letter to the current attorney general as an "antitrust expert" saying the merger shouldn't be approved, which in itself isn't too out of the ordinary for the hired shill/lobbyist game. But things got a little more interesting after the WSJ reported that before going to work for the NAB, Ashcroft made a sales call to XM and offered the company his services -- an offer which XM declined. Even though Ashcroft's spokeswoman defended his work for the NAB, saying it "was a clear call for Ashcroft", it would appear that the call was made clear by a check, rather than by any unbiased insight into the matter. Again, this really isn't too surprising for the way the lobbyist game works, but it's just further proof of their allegiance not to any issues, but rather simply to the money, and their odious effect on American politics.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Mar 2007 @ 4:13pm


    Whenever someone mentions the word "odious" Ashcroft immediately comes to mind.

    Before Bush appointed him Attorney General, he was defeated in an election by a man who was actually dead. This showed that, at least, the locals knew about him - and cared.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jiim, 5 Mar 2007 @ 6:19pm


    "But if they correctly consider it to be"

    Why would you be so quick to consider this the "correct" ruling? Does Nike compete with Ford in the wider transportation market? Does Rolling Stone compete with NBC in the wider visual entertainment market?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    |333173|3|_||3, 5 Mar 2007 @ 7:46pm

    Digital radio

    Both terrestrial and sattelite radio are trying to compete to transmit to you audio, in either digital or analouge format, but they are both nonetheless tring to compete with each other. You would not say taht a digital radio station is not in competition with an analouge one, so why would a radio station which places its transmitters in space be considered diffrent, except that they have a charge for listening.

    However, I would not necessarily say that they are in competition with MP3 players or CDs, except in terms of people's overall entertainment budget.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    don majo, 5 Mar 2007 @ 8:16pm

    John ashcroft

    John Ashxcroft is a freaking idiot. He does not drink definilty can't trust a guy who can't drink.
    Instead of handing out supeonas to investigate terrorist accessments and continue investigations started by the Clinton adminstration. This jerkoff went after prostituion as the major threat to the USA.
    This guy should be put in prison not given a job.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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