FCC Withholds Ajit Pai's Emails Regarding The Infamous 'Harlem Shake' Video

from the b(5)-for-all-the-things dept

Last December, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai starred in a "PSA" produced by The Daily Caller. In the video, Pai addressed all the "trolls" in the net neutrality debate, reassuring the public that they will still be able to enjoy things on the internet after its repeal. To illustrate this, Pai does the absolute polar opposite of an enjoyable thing on the internet: the Harlem Shake.

That segment actually led to the video being temporarily removed from YouTube after a copyright complaint from the record label Mad Decent.

Curious as to whose idea this was, I filed a FOIA for emails between The Daily Caller and the FCC, as well as any talking points regarding this huge PR coup. Four months later, the FCC responded. The agency found two pages of emails but would be withholding them in their entirety under FOIA's infamous b(5) exemption regarding deliberative process.

This isn't even the first time the FCC has used b(5) to deny access to records regarding Pai starring in an embarrassing video - the agency rejected Gizmodo's request for records relating to a comedy skit in which Pai joked about being a "Verizon puppet," similarly under b(5).

Read the rejection letter embedded below or on the request page. If you're interested in Pai and the fight for net neutrality, you can check out his calendar here.

Republished from MuckRock


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  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 6 Apr 2018 @ 10:52am

    "If you're interested in Pai and the fight for net neutrality, you can check out his calendar here."

    Sadly there's no event on that calendar where he steps down and stops crapping all over the place.

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

  • icon
    Luckydob (profile), 6 Apr 2018 @ 11:07am

    I get why people don't like him, but...a FOIA request for something like this is just a waste of everyone's time. I mean, I like fishing and all, but sometimes you just need to go to a different lake to find better fish to fry.

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

    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 6 Apr 2018 @ 11:14am

      Re:

      Considering he used it as an excuse for dismantling NN it seems relevant who was behind the scenes in the video, no? Would it matter if it was his mom? What if it was Verizon?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Apr 2018 @ 11:36am

        Re: Re:

        FOIA is not the trouts worst nightmare. It is there to protect the good value-enhancing processes in politics from becoming too public. Nobody wants to know how sausages are made!

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

    • identicon
      Thad, 6 Apr 2018 @ 11:30am

      Re:

      Fallacy of relative privation.

      It's possible to issue a FOIA request for this and also for other information Pai is withholding. Not only is it possible, it's happened. Pai has refused a number of FOIA requests related to a number of aspects of the Title II repeal and its planning.

      It is not a zero sum game. There is not some Law of Conservation of FOIA Requests at work here, where if you issue a FOIA request for one thing, you cannot issue a FOIA request for a different thing.

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

  • icon
    horkus (profile), 6 Apr 2018 @ 1:12pm

    I never saw that video, but oh god that screenshot! Here's an out of touch captured regulator saying, "greetings fellow kids, you can still have all your fun toys, pay no attention to your eroding freedoms."

    It's panem et circenses. Except he's a tone deaf dufus.

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

  • identicon
    Pixelation, 6 Apr 2018 @ 2:48pm

    Bad Santa!

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Apr 2018 @ 9:36am

      Re:

      What a fucking douchebag!!!! I cant wait until this idiot telecom bitchboy is behind bars and getting ass raped on a daily basis.

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


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