Overhype

by Karl Bode


Filed Under:
ajit pai, donald trump, fcc, jobs

Companies:
charter



Donald Trump Keeps Taking Credit For Tech Sector Jobs He Had Absolutely Nothing To Do With

from the taking-credit-for-the-sunrise dept

Last week, buried under the fracas surrounding the failed update to the Affordable Care Act, the Trump administration conducted an adorable little stage play few actually noticed. The Administration invited Charter CEO Tom Rutledge to the Oval Office, where the CEO -- alongside Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Energy Secretary Rick Perry, repeatedly implied that Trump's policies were somehow to thank for the creation of 20,000 jobs and $25 billion in investment at the cable giant. Press Secretary Sean Spicer was quick to applaud the "new" jobs on Twitter.

At the same time Charter issued a statement expressing "confidence in the deregulatory policies of the Administration," the President's office rushed to release a video patting itself on the back for the "landmark deal":

The FCC also quickly issued a statement by new FCC boss Ajit Pai in which he claimed FCC policies were to thank for the jobs:

I’m pleased to see that our investment-friendly policies, along with the Administration’s overall regulatory approach, are already producing results.

And Pai Chief of Staff Matthew Berry also lent a hand to help the FCC pat itself on the back for a job well done:

The problem: neither the job creation nor the investment promises are new. And neither Donald Trump nor the FCC had absolutely anything to do with them.

The 20,000 jobs in question were actually announced more than a year ago by Charter. The jobs, purportedly to be created by eliminating off-shored labor, were part of the sales pitch for its massive, $79 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks. Like most megamerger promises, there was no real timeline affixed to the jobs, which may or may not ever actually get created. Job losses are far more common in such M&As due to the elimination of redundant positions, but holding companies accountable for false merger promises simply isn't fashionable for either major political party.

The $25 billion investment (to be made over four years) isn't new either. In fact, if you look at Charter SEC filings (page 221) from August 18, 2015, you'll note that the $25 billion is in line with what Charter pretty consistently spends over any four-year span. Some journalists on Twitter were also quick to point out that the $25 billion is actually down a bit from what Charter would have normally spent during the same period (ironic for a company that whined about net neutrality's impact on investment):

Granted, taking credit for jobs and investment he had nothing to do with has sort of become Trump's MO in his first few months in office. Sprint owner Softbank has also been letting the President take credit for job creation and investment he had nothing to do with in order to curry regulatory approval of a pending T-Moble, Sprint merger. Charter, which is rumored to be considering a possible megamerger with Verizon or T-Mobile, clearly hopes that buttering Trump up will pave the way for its own M&As.

It's a win for the companies and the administration alike: companies get to get their names in bright lights as job creators (whether it's true or not doesn't matter), and Trump gets more credit with a base that derides any contradictory evidence as fake news. The real losers remain American consumers. The deal, approved under the Obama administration, has already resulted in higher rates and even worse customer support than ever -- no small feat for an industry already ranked last in terms of customer satisfaction and support. Synergies, indeed.

Just so we're clear: the previous administration approved a deal that has already proven horrible for consumers; and the current administration is falsely taking credit for the stale and bogus job creation claims used to prop that bad deal up.

There's additional irony in that Trump ran his election based on killing megamergers of this type, promising to not only block AT&T's proposed acquisition of Time Warner, but to break up Comcast's already completed 2011 acquisition of NBC Universal. Most analysts expect neither to happen. In fact, the most likely outcome is that Trump and AT&T (the king of bogus telecom merger claims) will use the Time Warner deal to create a supernova of bogus job and investment promises the likes we've never seen before.

And while that's bad news for consumers, if you're the type that likes it when governments and companies use flimsy promises and half-cooked data to prop up bad tech policy and hollow partisan rhetoric -- you may soon find yourself in hog heaven.


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • icon
    DannyB (profile), 28 Mar 2017 @ 7:38am

    The explanation is simple

    Trump requires admiration and worship. He cannot accept that he could do anything wrong. He cannot be told No.

    Because he can never be wrong, he is unable to ever admit a mistake. Therefore, once he takes a position he sticks with it. If it was right, it is because he is brilliant. If it was wrong, then later, he was always for the other position all along. And this is demonstrable fact.

    Anything that goes right during his administration is due to his inherent greatness. It doesn't matter if it began before or was planned before he came into power. Even that prior planning is a manifestation of Trump's greater glory and superiority to all others. Anything that goes wrong is someone else's fault. Some imagined enemy. The previous administration. Or something.

    Now many politicians of any political view exhibit some of this to varying degrees. But Trump takes it to a cartoonish new level.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2017 @ 7:41am

    they all do it

    " ....taking credit for jobs and investment he had nothing to do with has sort of become Trump's MO "


    ... thanks for the news flash -- nobody would have expected this kind of stuff from Trump or any other politician

    all previous Presidents strictly avoided taking any credit for positive stuff that they had nothing to do with.
    >>> Trump is absolutely unique in this regard !

    it's not like you're piling on Trump in particular, while totally ignoring the normal, age old culture of corrupt retail politics ?

    I don't like Trump, but he's just doing what they all do -- look at the big picture and get past this petty media Trump bashing

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

    • identicon
      I.T. Guy, 28 Mar 2017 @ 8:28am

      Re: they all do it

      Really? Because I remember certain legislative accomplishments a certain someone touted as their own but at best was a co-signer, not even co-sponsor.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2017 @ 12:23pm

        Re: they all do it

        yeah, good point -- Al Gore invented the internet

        and Obama enthusiastically accepted the Nobel Prize for his personal world class success bringing peace on earth

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

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 29 Mar 2017 @ 12:32am

          Re: Re: they all do it

          "Al Gore invented the internet"

          ...something that he never claimed, but thanks for exposing the myths you believe in.

          "Obama enthusiastically accepted the Nobel Prize"

          Yes, a private organisation voted to award him a prize without his involvement in the selection process. Are you trying to say he was involved in it being awarded to him, or are you saying the he's somehow as dishonest as the guy lying about his own accomplishments because he accepted an unsolicited gift?

          If these two things are even remotely similar in your mind, try and reside in the real world more.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2017 @ 8:34am

      Re: they all do it

      I don't like Trump, but-

      Uh-huh.

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

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 29 Mar 2017 @ 12:33am

        Re: Re: they all do it

        "I don't like Trump, but" is always followed by a defence of Trump, just as surely as "I'm not racist, but" will be followed by something that's so clearly racist that they felt the need to add a disclaimer.

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 28 Mar 2017 @ 8:38am

      Ah the lemming defense...

      'They all do it' is as valid as 'But all the cool kids are doing it' when it comes to justification and defense of an act.

      Just because past politicians have done it doesn't make it any better when the current president does it. Just because politicians or even presidents in the past may have gotten a pass when they lied about how involved they were in new jobs and/or money coming in to the country does not mean the current politicians or even presidents should get a pass.

      'They all do it, so what's the big deal?' is no different than saying 'They all do it, and I don't see a problem with that'. If you want a problem to stop admitting that it is a problem and calling out those that engage in it are the first, most basic steps. Brushing it aside as 'nothing new' just ensures that it will continue to happen.

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

      • icon
        Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 28 Mar 2017 @ 9:03am

        Re: Ah the lemming defense...

        ***Integrity***. It doesn't mean what they think it means.

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

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 29 Mar 2017 @ 12:35am

        Re: Ah the lemming defense...

        The fun thing is, one of the supposed reasons Trump was voted in was because he was such an outsider, so uninvolved with the political system that he'd change it completely from the inside. Now, just a couple of months later, all they can offer is "he's the same as everyone else!". Even if true, it's a sad indictment of the man's ability to meet expectations - which is why of course Trump voters are now claiming they never liked.voted for him.

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

    • identicon
      I.T. Guy, 28 Mar 2017 @ 8:38am

      Re: they all do it

      "get past this petty media Trump bashing"
      He makes it so easy. And remember, he was going to be different. He was going to drain the swamp and Make Merika Great Again.

      Are we great yet?

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

      • icon
        Roger Strong (profile), 28 Mar 2017 @ 8:47am

        Re: Re: they all do it

        That was BEFORE Obama set up a "deep state" shadow government and had the British spy on Trump through his microwave.

        Remember, EVERY President quotes InfoWars and neo-Nazi web sites to make the same claims. The practice is as old as the hills.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2017 @ 7:50am

    A telco merger that ends up creating jobs?

    Yeah, I'll believe that fucking bullshit when I actually see it.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2017 @ 8:08am

    news flash

    Trump takes credit!
    and so did Obama,
    also Bush,
    oh and Clinton...

    I am starting to sense a pattern here.

    Politicians lying about things they accomplished... yep... definitely a pattern!

    Where is my recognition for seeing this shit coming before you even wrote the article? Of course I want credit!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2017 @ 8:28am

    So POTUS is EXACTLY like every politician who ever lived.

    This is news?

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

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 28 Mar 2017 @ 8:30am

    The problem is we aren't the target demographic.

    Everyone had a laugh at the stories about people calling Obamacare utter shit & how the Republicans had to fix it with the ACA. Because they called it Obamacare for so long people think it is different than the ACA. When you tell them they are the same thing they start looking for ways to pretend it doesn't matter.

    Trump claims to have created all of these jobs & money.
    Media calls him out and his base, primed with the mantra of fake news, just assume it is a hit piece and wrap themselves tighter in the Trump delusion.

    His supporters think the country is doing much better while ignoring anything that challenges that view as being fake.

    This really is approaching the levels of the meme where the cartoon shows the titanic, someone screaming iceberg dead ahead, and the other people screaming fake news.

    I think we should keep calling this BS out, but the biggest thing we need to work towards is breaking the imaginary story that Trump always tells the truth & to disagree is fake news.

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

    • identicon
      Chuck, 28 Mar 2017 @ 9:49am

      Re:

      This is precisely why every single person with a smartphone and common sense needs to be walking around with a short, 2 to 3 minute video (because that's about all the attention span these people have) of Trump contradicting himself. Every time they say fake news, take out your phone and play the video. Bonus points if you have 3 or 4 such videos and can show them a different one at random.

      Eventually, they'll get the message. The most die hard will claim the footage has been doctored or something, but eh, you can't win em all. At least this approach will eventually free many of them from their delusion.

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

    • identicon
      David, 28 Mar 2017 @ 10:18am

      Re:

      I think we should keep calling this BS out, but the biggest thing we need to work towards is breaking the imaginary story that Trump always tells the truth & to disagree is fake news.

      You fake newsers would certainly like that. But that's a Red Herring. Nobody said Trump always tells the truth, but he doesn't lie. He tells you how he thinks it is. And that's huge, larger than life. The truth, in contrast, is just as large as life. And that doesn't cut it. We need visions. Who is going to give America its march orders if not the March Hare?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2017 @ 11:04am

        Re: Re:

        So if he tells you something that is absolutely wrong and he doesn't bother to correct it or even educate himself on something before he makes a statement that's ok?

        You can think 2+2=5 all you want but you're still a fucking idiot.

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

  • icon
    timmaguire42 (profile), 28 Mar 2017 @ 9:46am

    "The write ups are built around EDS products. We could do another page for Operations, the behind the scenes team."

    Right, Trump. Not politics as usual. Because Trump.

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

    • icon
      timmaguire42 (profile), 28 Mar 2017 @ 9:47am

      Re:

      Hmm, how did that become my paste. And not this:

      "Granted, taking credit for jobs and investment he had nothing to do with has sort of become Trump's MO in his first few months in office."

      Oh well.

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

  • icon
    John85851 (profile), 28 Mar 2017 @ 10:06am

    Simplify it

    Yet again, Trump plays to his base and keeps things simplified. Which is easier to understand:
    * This deal creates more jobs, which means you'll get re-hired instead of those illegal immigrants.
    * The deal with Charter will result in a capex of $30B annualized over the 10 years which will mean raising bills 5% over the same time.

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 29 Mar 2017 @ 12:39am

      Re: Simplify it

      "Which is easier to understand"

      The one that's not true, obviously. Trump promised jobs to coal miners, Clinton explained that those jobs are gone forever due to market forces and promised to help them find new jobs. People voted for the simple, nice-sounding fiction. Which is why there's so many problems looming.

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

  • icon
    pouar (profile), 28 Mar 2017 @ 4:55pm

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

  • icon
    Mike-2 Alpha (profile), 28 Mar 2017 @ 10:10pm

    Does this mean I can blame him for things that he has nothing to do with, too? I mean, there's plenty we can already blame him for. Still, imagine the fun we can have if we get to start blaming The Donald for bad weather, sports team losing streaks, and receding hair lines.

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.