I’m not a huge fan of the DrudgeReport, but it often breaks stories before they hit the major media. This one could have some implications for the telecommunications industry going forward:
McCain has personally pleaded with NY TIMES editor Bill Keller not to publish the high-impact report involving key telecom legislation before the Senate Commerce Committee, newsroom insiders tell the DRUDGE REPORT.
The drama involves a woman lobbyist who may have helped to write key telecom legislation.
Read the full story here.
Rich Tehrani comments here.
Here in Michigan we’ve long suspected that telephone company officials, lawyers, and/or lobbyists may have helped write key pieces of Michigan telecommunications legislation, including the periodic revisions of the Michigan Telecommunications Act. We’ve known that the esteemed legislators didn’t write the entire Act themselves – they may be reasonably intelligent, but none of them have experience in the telecommunications industry – and yet every few years they come out with a revision to the Act that seems to contain at least a few “Christmas gifts” for the phone companies. The last revision virtually deregulated the telephone industry in Michigan, except for a very specific type of residential service called PBLES (Primary Basic Local Exchange Service, which is a service to which only an extremely small percentage of customers subscribe – probably some fraction of one percent!). What state legislator would come up with something like PBLES on his own?
So if this becomes a major scandal – and it surely has a better chance of doing so in an election year – there could be some serious fallout, to the point that perhaps some legislation might be passed putting walls between lobbyists and legislators. But then again, that may be wishful thinking. In any case, it will be interesting to see whether the New York Times caves in and fails to publish the report – if that happens, I hope that it gets published somewhere. But whatever happened to our news media, that any politician would even think of trying to get them to suppress a story of this nature?