FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn spoke at the Free Press Summit: Ideas in Actions event in Washington DC and, stressing her outside-the-Beltway credentials, suggested that it would be good idea for those weighing the regulatory pros and cons of the proposed Comcast/NBCU merger to get a healthy dose of outside-the-Beltway input before making any decisions.
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) and 45 other members of Congress have already written in to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski expressing their desire for a Comcast/NBCU road show.
“A great start down this path would be for the Commission to hold public hearings on the proposed Comcast-NBCU merger outside of Washington, D.C.,” said Clyburn. “Obviously we do not have the resources to travel the country getting individualized views from every city and town. But we do have the ability to hold one or more hearings in places where consumers will be directly affected – either positively or negatively – by this landmark transaction.”
She continued, “What value will hearings outside the Beltway bring? First and foremost, they will force the Commission to interact and see up-close how Americans feel about the merger. Most of our days are spent poring over electronic and paper filings of briefs and short comments in the comfort of our own offices. It is far different to hear directly from the public. You feel the passion these issues generate. You better understand people’s views. And you may even see areas of misunderstanding and how our message may be distorted by the time it reaches people across the country.”