Dispatch from the Chairman's Dinner (updated)
At the annual FCC Chairman's Dinner hosted by the Federal Communications Bar Association, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai took some obligatory shots at various industry players.
AT&T is here, following on the heels of its Tiger Woods/Phil Mickelson golf match last month," he said. "AT&T is now offering to settle the Justice Department's AT&T-Time Warner appeal through a winner-take-all, pay-per-view golf match between Randall Stephenson and Makan Delrahim. I'm not sure about some of the rules they proposed to be honest with you. Allowing [CNN White House correspondent] Jim Acosta to shout at Makan during his backswing doesn't quite seem fair."
Citing the erroneous missile warning that had Hawaiians ducking and covering at the beginning of the year, Chairman Pai pondered what the people in the room would do "if we all received a warning that a missile would strike us in 30 minutes."
He said net neutrality activist Fight for the Future would "immediately start organizing a net neutrality '25 minutes of action.' CTIA, the wireless industry lobby, would issue a press release lamenting the impact the missile strike would have on US leadership in 5G. The National Association of Broadcasters would ask the FCC to extend the 39-month repack deadline before Washington is destroyed." Then there would be those demanding an Inspector General investigation into whether he had anything to do with the strike," he added.
Pai pointed out that commissioner Michael O'Rielly was leading the FCC's review of its kidvid rules. He said children's programmers are rolling out some new shows to curry favor with the commissioner: Milton Friedman's Neighborhood, Inspector Gadget Investigates Pirate Radio Operators, and Pai's favorite, "a Schoolhouse Rock episode about federal preemption."
This from Politico:
The night marked FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's second time poking fun before a packed room of telecom lawyers. He ribbed the usual suspects, including Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile, as well as Philadelphia sports fans like aide Nathan Leamer, during the 30-minute roast. Chairman Pai started things off with a Brett Kavanaugh-esque opening statement that culminated with him telling the room, "I like beer." He joked that the dinner would not include Baked Alaska, because he "thought that would've been a little insensitive to [Commissioner] Brendan" Carr, whose nomination is being held up by an Alaskan senator.
Pai Takes Gentle Aim at Industry Scenes from Telecom Prom (Politico)