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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  • icon
    dfed (profile), 23 Jul 2015 @ 9:43am

    Oh Michael. That's not the only reason we don't take you seriously...

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2015 @ 9:45am

    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.

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

    • icon
      Mason Wheeler (profile), 23 Jul 2015 @ 10:22am

      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.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2015 @ 11:20am

        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.

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

        • icon
          John Fenderson (profile), 23 Jul 2015 @ 1:58pm

          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.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2015 @ 9:46am

    check his bank account and see where the extra funding is coming from. that might help to sort the wheat from the chaff!

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

    • identicon
      Bengie, 23 Jul 2015 @ 10:06am

      Re:

      You can't look for money, but you can look for "free" services, like family trips to expensive places or $2500 meals at exclusive restaurants.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2015 @ 2:02pm

        Re: Re:

        One of the worst parts is that the money(campaign money usually and actual bribes sometimes) the gifts, the cushy jobs don't actually add up to that much.

        We are being sold for the crumbs that the elite dribble down to the political class.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2015 @ 9:49am

    His pay masters must be openly questioning what they pay him for, and he is saying that lack of effort is not the cause of his failures.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2015 @ 9:57am

    why people who want zero regulation are in positions where their job is to regulate is pretty lol tbh.

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

    • icon
      Karl Bode (profile), 23 Jul 2015 @ 10:15am

      Re:

      Government can never work! Elect me and I'll show you!

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2015 @ 10:27am

        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
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect
        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".

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2015 @ 11:17am

    What do you expect from CNET? They showed they have no editorial respectability when they took away Best of Show from the Dish Hopper at CES a couple years ago. Who reads their crap, anyway?

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

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 23 Jul 2015 @ 11:30am

    Obligatory old meme response:

    O rly?

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


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