The chair of the House Oversight Committee, Darrell Issa (R-CA), says he believes that the move of FCC Commissioner Meredith Baker to Comcast/NBCU months after approving the joint venture that brought the two media giants together was done properly. Nonetheless, he had some questions for FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.
According to reports, Issa observed that it appeared that all requirements were met and that there was nothing wrong with Baker’s planned change of career. Nevertheless, given the short time that has elapsed since the FCC approved the merger, Issa feels it is important to fully vet the matter in order to maintain the public trust in the process.
The deal received FCC approval in January. Baker says she was approached by Comcast in April and has remained on the sidelines on all FCC matters that touch on Comcast or NBCU since.
Watchdog Free Press, along with a group called CREDO Action, has been pushing for more than in inquiry – they want Issa to hold a full-scale hearing, and have 130K letters making that same point to deliver.
Free Press President and CEO Craig Aaron said, “We’re pleased to see that Chairman Issa has responded to the many Americans who are deeply troubled by the revolving door between Comcast and the FCC exemplified by Commissioner Baker’s jaw-droppingly fast transition from regulator to lobbyist. We hope this letter is just the start – and that Congress will launch a serious inquiry that goes beyond the five basic questions asked here. As Chairman Issa suggests, the American people deserve to know whether their public servants are truly serving them, or just auditioning for industry jobs. We hope Chairman Issa gives them the investigation they’ve demanded, and the one they deserve.”