A senior Comcast executive said he was surprised at all the noise that has been generated by his company’s job offer to FCC Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker. He noted that the hiring despite the presence of lobbying restrictions that will constrain her actions until Barack Obama is out of office proves that the company hired her for her ability, not her connections.
According to a Hillicon Valley report, the remarks came from Comcast’s David Cohen, who was speaking at a Media Institute luncheon.
Cohen said he believed that the issue would mostly be an inside-the-Beltway phenomenon, despite the fact that the story has made it into the national media and editorials in three major newspapers.
Baker will be forbidden to lobby the FCC until the Obama administration checks out in either 2013 or 2017, and Cohen said that should be the basis of the headlines on the topic – he said she was hired for the “long haul” based on intelligence, creativity and the ability to work across party lines.
Neither Comcast nor Baker has any problem with the ethics rules, he said. She will be able to talk directly to people on Capitol Hill, and Cohen added that she will be a “thought leader” for its Washington staff.