FCC Boss Pai Urged To Accept Trump Loss, Pause Dumb Attack On Social Media

from the can't-hear-you-I-have-a-banana-in-my-ear dept

With the Biden victory, FCC boss Ajit Pai is being urged to pause all controversial rulemaking, including the agency's absurd and now likely doomed attempt to regulate social media and undermine Section 230 via the FCC. With a Biden win, Pai's guaranteed to lose his spot as top commissioner, and is likely to exit the agency altogether.

Energy and Commerce Committee heads Frank Pallone and Mike Doyle this week wrote to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairman Joseph Simons, urging them to, as is tradition, pause any controversial rulemaking in preparation for the incoming Biden administration:

"With the results of the 2020 presidential election now apparent, leadership of the FCC will undoubtedly be changing. As a traditional part of the peaceful transfer of power — and as part of our oversight responsibilities — we strongly urge the agency to only pursue consensus and administrative matters for the remainder of your tenure."

The message to adhere to civility and norms was also mirrored by Jessica Rosenworcel, who'll likely be the next FCC boss (at least on an interim basis):

"I welcome the letter from Chairman Pallone and Chairman Doyle. Historically, the FCC has honored the transfer of power from one Administration to the next by pausing any controversial activity. I urge FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to follow this past practice in order to ensure an orderly transition of agency affairs. I look forward to continuing to work on the routine and consensus matters currently before the agency."

Granted, Ajit Pai is the same FCC boss that actively blocked law enforcement inquiries into Trumpland and the broadband industry's use of fake or dead people to generate bogus support for unpopular polices at the agency. He also spent years parroting false telecom lobbyist data as he happily dismantled the agency from within at the behest of AT&T, Verizon and Comcast. He also rubber stamped competition and job-eroding telecom mergers without even bothering to look at the data. And, who can forget the time Pai thought it was a good idea to make a dance video with a pizzagater after giving the public a giant middle finger.

As such, any idea that the FCC intends to adhere to norms here as they simultaneously deny obvious and clear election results is likely wishful thinking. Even though Pai himself made such a request shortly after Trump won. Still, former FCC staffers like Wheeler advisor Gigi Sohn urged the agency to at least try to consistently adhere to norms:

From the sound of things, it seems unlikely that the FCC's bumbling attempt to regulate social media at Trump's request has a long shelf life either way.

You'll recall that Trump fired Republican FCC Commissioner Mike O'Rielly for very politely pointing out the FCC lacks the authority to regulate social media and that undermining 230 would likely create more censorship, not less. As his replacement, Trump nominated the NTIA's Nathan Simington, the very guy that wrote Trump's ridiculous EO demanding the FCC "reinterpret" Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

Simington's appointment to the FCC is going through all the usual processes, including a hearing this week designed to provide media sound bytes supporting the completely bogus claim that social media unfairly censors Conservatives (data and reality often indicate the exact opposite). But everything I'm hearing is that Simington isn't likely to obtain an actual vote, in part because the GOP realizes Trump's 230 gambit is likely doomed, and they're more interested in others getting the FCC seat (Crystal Tully, Deputy Staff Director at the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation is a name that keeps coming up in my conversations this week).

It's one of several indications that while the GOP publicly is pretending the election is contested (to fundraise, avoid angering Trump's adoring fans, and keep supporters engaged for the Georgia runoffs), they're privately positioning and strategizing with the full knowledge the Biden Presidency is a done deal. Either way, there's every indication that the dumb FCC attempt to regulate social media (and the rank hypocrisy required to embrace such a move after bitching about net neutrality as "government overreach" for four years), is likely dead as a doornail.

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Filed Under: ajit pai, fcc, frank pallone, ftc, joseph simons, mike doyle, rulemaking, section 230


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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous, 13 Nov 2020 @ 6:47am

    Hey Karl

    The election isn't won. Stop bashing who support Trump.

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

    • identicon
      Jairus, 13 Nov 2020 @ 6:55am

      Re: Hey Karl

      Then explain, in specific detail, how you expect Trump to somehow overcome his deficit and win the over 70 electoral votes he'd need when states have already begun certifying their results and he's getting case after case (13 at last count) thrown out of court in at least half a dozen states and even his own law firms are bailing on him?

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

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Anonymous, 13 Nov 2020 @ 7:27am

        Re: Re: Hey Karl and Jairus

        Are you Karl by another name? There isn't any explaining to do, the article is intended to Trash who support Trump. Your arguments are in your perspective and opinion. The election hasn't been won yet and that is all that is to it as of right now.

        Telling anyone who is in support of Trump to just accept the results when they are in question and being challenged at present is not going to make them accept the results even if Trump is not the winner in the end. last time I checked, many states that went red, voted in the majority for Trump, and that's a LOT of people.

        Your statements are your own and in obvious BIAS for Biden. I do not need to explain in detail about anything. My statements stand as they are because it's true. Bashing me, Trump, or his supporters is childish. There are many people who do not want someone as currupt as Biden in office, when there is a wall being built to protect Americans in the south borders of the USA from violence, drug/human trafficking, and murders in high percentages that were thwarted due to the law enforcement efforts and the wall being built to stop them. With Biden with his warprofiteers, warmongers, and copyright mafia around the corner, it's clear that America, in the eyes for many Americans, it is heading in the wrong direction.

        But in case you want to portray Biden as the choice Americans want. Well, he's not. Here's why https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRjCaWnrsts

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

        • icon
          AC Unknown (profile), 13 Nov 2020 @ 8:07am

          Re: Re: Re: Hey Karl and Jairus

          Youtube videos aren't proof.

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

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 13 Nov 2020 @ 8:11am

          Telling anyone who is in support of Trump to just accept the results when they are in question and being challenged at present is not going to make them accept the results even if Trump is not the winner in the end.

          Nothing will make them accept the results. Trumpians will go to their graves thinking Biden and the Dems stole 2020 from Dear Leader. The fact that the Trump legal team has produced no substantial proof — not even an indication — of widescale voter fraud hasn’t changed their minds. Trump dropping all his challenges won’t, either.

          many states that went red, voted in the majority for Trump, and that's a LOT of people

          Land doesn’t vote. People do.

          My statements stand as they are because it's true.

          Being technically correct doesn’t make you any less of an asshole.

          There are many people who do not want someone as currupt as Biden in office

          Yeah, they want Trump, who is corrupt as all hell but also attacks the “right” Repugnant Cultural Others.

          it's clear that America, in the eyes for many Americans, it is heading in the wrong direction

          And with Trump, it was heading in the right direction? I mean, unless you approve of the Muslim travel ban, the concentration camps on the southern border, the family separation policy, the transgender military ban, the crumbling wall of separation between church and state, the installation of unqualified conservative judges into federal judiciary positions for the purpose of undoing abortion rights and same-sex marriage rights, the absolutely catastrophic response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Trump’s worthless responses to racial unrest, and…well, others can come along and help expand this list, if they’d like. Point is: If you think the country was heading in the right direction with Trump, you’re certainly not someone who had to worry about being marginalized or attacked by his administration (or those who support it).

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

          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 16 Nov 2020 @ 8:16am

            Re:

            "And with Trump, it was heading in the right direction?"

            In the eyes of the Very Fine People? Yup. They loved everything he did because in the end it's all down to kicking out anyone who isn't christian, a true aryan, and straight.

            It's pointless to expect good faith and consistent logic from the people whose only disappointment with Trump is that he didn't go far enough.

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

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 16 Nov 2020 @ 9:36pm

              Re: Re:

              "They loved everything he did because in the end it's all down to kicking out anyone who isn't christian, a true aryan, and straight."

              Except, of course, it wasn't, in any form of objective reality. They just believed whatever grift he was pulling at the time. Most of the claims were about getting people to cheer at his rallies or to enrich his friends/donors, not to enact policy that would have a long-term effect in any meaningful direction.

              Say what you want about the incoming administration, at least objective reality is back on the cards.

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

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 13 Nov 2020 @ 9:56am

          Re: Re: Re: Hey Karl and Jairus

          "last time I checked, many states that went red, voted in the majority for Trump"

          Many of those states have significantly less people. but a highly disproportionately number of votes. They still lost, unlike last election where nearly 3 million more people voted for Clinton but had their votes discounted..

          Are you saying that land is more important than voters?

          "With Biden with his warprofiteers, warmongers, and copyright mafia around the corner"

          Are those like the ones Trump is hugging to his last days in power?

          "it's clear that America, in the eyes for many Americans, it is heading in the wrong direction."

          It's clear that many Americans have lost their shit and might be better left to kill themselves via a perfectly avoidable pandemic than be still around next election.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2020 @ 10:11am

          Re: Re: Re: Hey Karl and Jairus

          Who won and who is full of shit and whether or not they support someone in particular are not in any way logically connected. Bad laws, theories, policies, and behavior deserve to be trashed. Doesn't matter who won.

          But also... how did that go? Oh right. Biden won. Get over it.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2020 @ 5:27pm

          Re: Re: Re: Hey Karl and Jairus

          LOL that's amazing. You support Trump and post a Jimmy Dore video. Do you even know anything about Jimmy Dore? Any attacks he's making on Biden are from the LEFT. He may not support Biden's policies, but he sure as hell supports Trump even less.

          Reminds me of Trump playing Fortunate Son at the start his rallies. The utter lack of comprehension and analysis on display is deeply amusing.

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 13 Nov 2020 @ 6:56am

      Technically, you’re correct — the election won’t officially be called until all the states have certified their vote counts and such. But Trump and his legal team have provided no empirical evidence of voter fraud at a scale that would swing the election in his favor if the fraudulent votes were tossed out. If you believe the results as they stand now won’t stand when the states go to certify their vote counts, either you’ve deluded yourself into believing Trump’s lies or you know something that even he doesn’t.

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 13 Nov 2020 @ 7:27am

      Re: Hey Karl

      You’re right the election isn’t won until next month when the Trump campaign has to either provide evidence of hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of fraudulent votes or convince a huge number of EC voters to flip.

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

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Anonymous, 13 Nov 2020 @ 7:36am

        Re: Re: Hey Karl, and PaulT

        You are right about me being right for the most part, but you forgot to mention that Trump has to concede power to Biden.

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

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 13 Nov 2020 @ 7:57am

          Conceding an election is a formality — a non-legal tradition. The law doesn’t care whether Trump concedes the election. If Congress certifies Biden as the election winner when the 6th of January rolls around (and I see no reason to think he won’t be), Trump will no longer be the president come the 20th of January.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2020 @ 8:30am

            Re:

            My only worry is that Moscow Mitch is looking in to ways to prevent congress from certifying the election. I wanted Mitch out of office more that the orange buffoon.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2020 @ 9:22am

              Re: Re:

              Agreed, 1000%. Mitch is one of the most worthless human beings on the planet and that's saying something. Total piece of crap.

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

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 13 Nov 2020 @ 11:24pm

              Re: Re:

              "My only worry is that Moscow Mitch is looking in to ways to prevent congress from certifying the election"

              I'm sure he will be, but if there is such a get out clause for the losing party to override the will of the people in such an openly corrupt way, your democracy is even more broken than we all thought.

              "I wanted Mitch out of office more that the orange buffoon."

              This is sadly a very valid opinion. I won't wish death on the guy, but I do hope that his recent health problems cause an early retirement, or that the ongoing issues caused or exacerbated by Trump are enough for some people to not go along with him this time.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 14 Nov 2020 @ 9:05am

              Re: Re:

              My only worry is that Moscow Mitch is looking in to ways to prevent congress from certifying the election.

              If that happens, Trump is out, as is Pence, and the speaker of the House of representatives takes over. Does Mitch Want Nancy as president. Trump only remains president is re-elected, or has a successful coup.

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

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 13 Nov 2020 @ 11:21pm

          Re: Re: Re: Hey Karl, and PaulT

          "you forgot to mention that Trump has to concede power to Biden."

          According to whom, other than Trump as his enablers?

          If he refuses it won't change the identify of the person who's sworn in on January 20th, it will just be the last in a long line of norms, formalities and common sense adult behaviours that he's violated.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2020 @ 9:21am

      Re: Hey Karl

      https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/27/politics/trump-attacks-obama-golf-disasters-kfile/index.html

      Your Hypocrite in Chief lost. He's a loser. You, him and everyone else who supports that loser need to accept that fact and move on. Or keep crying, snowflake. Whatever.

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

  • icon
    Bloof (profile), 13 Nov 2020 @ 8:28am

    Yeaaaah, he's a republican. Losing an election means he's going to work at ten times normal speed to cause as much damage as he can before he's punted out the door, no doubt relinquishing as much of the power he wielded as possible so his actions can't be easily undone.

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

    • icon
      Thad (profile), 13 Nov 2020 @ 10:42am

      Re:

      no doubt relinquishing as much of the power he wielded as possible so his actions can't be easily undone.

      ...how's that going to work with the whole "granting himself the power to interpret section 230" thing?

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

      • icon
        Bloof (profile), 13 Nov 2020 @ 11:09am

        Re: Re:

        Very last act on his way out the door, see the way Scott Walker signing a bill to slash the power of the Governor in the lame duck session after the people of Wisconsin voted for a Democrat.

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

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 13 Nov 2020 @ 9:08am

    Pai's a corrupt coward so I can see this going two ways: Either he slows down(not stops) so nothing actually gets done but he doesn't have to tell Trump 'no, because you're not going to be president next year', or he just tells tradition to fuck off and carries on same as before so doesn't have to say that and because attacking social media serves his bosses just fine.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2020 @ 9:24am

      Re:

      He'll do whatever is in his own best interests to secure a good paying job in the telecom sector immediately after he is fired. In other words, he's gonna fuck the American public one last time on his way out the door.

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

      • icon
        sumgai (profile), 13 Nov 2020 @ 12:24pm

        Re: Re:

        In other words, he's gonna fuck the American public one last time on his way out the door.

        If he's going to be working in the Telecom sector (and I agree that'll probably be his fate), then what makes you think we'll be fucked only one more time?

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

  • icon
    sumgai (profile), 13 Nov 2020 @ 12:28pm

    Is it "getting even", or is it "cleaning up mess"?

    If I had Biden's ear when it comes to nominations, I'd whisper that he should bring back Tom Wheeler as the FCC Chairperson. Just sayin'....

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

    • identicon
      Annonymouse, 13 Nov 2020 @ 12:53pm

      Re: Is it "getting even", or is it "cleaning up mess"?

      Crazy idea.

      Bring in a competent person from outside the country who HATES the telecom sector.

      Crazy I know.

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

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 13 Nov 2020 @ 12:42pm

    Trump had interesting ideas

    But in the long run the GOP sat on him telling him they wouldnt Back him if he didnt do what they asked.
    Trump didnt really want the job. He trapped himself and thought he could do it.
    Politics ISNT a business battle.

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

    • identicon
      Annonymouse, 13 Nov 2020 @ 12:57pm

      Re: Trump had interesting ideas

      Well at least he didn't puke in the lap of an allied head of state or behave like a boorish twat with royalty or actually start a war.

      Just saying. =P

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

      • icon
        ECA (profile), 13 Nov 2020 @ 1:35pm

        Re: Re: Trump had interesting ideas

        And he didnt END any of the wars we are still in. we are in 4 nations now.
        And being Buddies with all the other People that his business's are in, and giving them favor over other nations.
        Then as a president, he thinks he has the power to Push those other nations leaders around. NOT happening.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    restless94110 (profile), 13 Nov 2020 @ 4:50pm

    Dumb

    So let me get this straigh: it is dumb to "attack" totalitarians who want to censor thought (i.e., the social media companies)?

    Why would Pai accept a Trump loss before he has lost?

    What kind of loco weed are you guys smoking? Ever hear of the Constitution? Trump ain't lost until it's certified, hoss.

    And Pai? Good on him. Tech totalitarians got to go.

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 13 Nov 2020 @ 11:26pm

      Re: Dumb

      "So let me get this straigh: it is dumb to "attack" totalitarians who want to censor thought (i.e., the social media companies)?"

      Yes, it is dumb to attack people for policing their own private property and community.

      "Why would Pai accept a Trump loss before he has lost?"

      Because he needs to be looking for his next job after he's kicked out of office by the guy who won in this reality. Denying reality does not make it change.

      "Trump ain't lost until it's certified, hoss."

      Yes, and the amount of corruption and fraud that would be required to change the known result right now would be enough to kill your democracy.

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

  • icon
    TOP DOG (profile), 13 Nov 2020 @ 7:02pm

    KICK PAI OUT

    Pai, just another corporate stooge, and Trump yes man. Let's all hope to be rid of this vile and contemptible creature. He has always reminded me of the South end of a Northbound possum..

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


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