back to article FCC boss gets knuckle-rapped

Current FCC chairman Kevin J. Martin may not have broken any specific laws, but he's a leading candidate for America's Worst Boss, he's running a "dysfunctional" agency that has "a very serious morale problem," and he has "manipulated, withheld, or suppressed data, reports, and information." Or so says the (Democrat-only) …


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  1. Herby Silver badge

    FCC's failings (the short list)

    There are many:

    1) Broadband over powerline (neither broadband, or powerline!)

    2) Whitespace networking (give me a break. Google and Microsoft can go to 2.4 GHz!)

    3) Digital TV. Decreases range, isn't compatible, silly converter boxes, not universal (low power TV can still broadcast NTSC!). Why bother. Nobody cares about picture quality!

    There are more, but why bother. Generally a bad batch.

  2. Donald Becker

    A Whitewater-like investigation that found nothing?

    Shouldn't this story be titled "After a year of a broad, politically-driven, investigation, no illegal or unethical actions were uncovered." With text describing how the staff didn't like having to listen to the appointed commissioners instead of following their individual agendas.

  3. Frank

    Not A Martinet

    A 'martinet' is a person who imposes strict discipline by demanding adherence to rules and procedures.

    '...he has "manipulated, withheld, or suppressed data, reports, and information.'

    '...that Martin had "abused FCC procedures by manipulating or suppressing reports, data, and information" '

    '..the "highly unusual" reduction by Martin to a mere $100,000 of a $1.3 million fine previously assessed to T-Mobile by the FCC's Enforcement Bureau for ..'

    These are the actions of someone who breaks rules and procedures. If the allegations are true then he is a manipulative bully. He is not a martinet.

  4. Cortland Richmond

    Not growing roses

    The Commission was already rebuked by the D.C. Court of Appeals for selectively editing technical information used in the BPL Rulemaking.


    "...there is no APA precedent allowing an agency to cherry-pick a study on which

    it has chosen to rely in part. "

    A smell of manure does not always mean someone is growing roses.

  5. Anonymous Coward


    "Nobody cares about picture quality"

    I call BS and troll.

  6. Paul


    "We at The Reg hope the investigation goes forward, if only so we can find out what "certain local television programming" was so important to the White House"

    The Telly Tubbies?

    Also, RE: @Herby


  7. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    "A Whitewater-like investigation that found nothing?"

    You don't have a Repub Party Card perchance? This is not a criminal investigation looking for dead people in Arkansas but the bog-standard "mismanagement check" program. Civil servants feared shitless and macho behaviour on the board looks like mismanagement to me.

  8. Chris iverson

    DirecTV fixed something in a timely fashion

    Ohh the horror. In other news politicians find someone they don't like giving perks to his friends. Hmm I guess they didn't get a Christmas card.....

  9. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge


    "Nobody cares about picture quality."

    Troll? Maybe. Unlike the rest of you, I can't read his mind. Could be he was serious, though exaggerating. Somebody look up "hyperbole" in the dictionary.

    But remember that just because picture resolution is the most important aspect (har har, aspect, aspect ratio, geddit? har har) of TV for the two of you doesn't mean it is for everybody.

    I'd rather see improvements in the programming. If there are 20,000 super-duper extreme high definition channels all running QVC and reruns of I Love Lucy, I'd say we haven't gained anything. How about reception quality for those not in range of a cable monopoly? I don't expect that high-definition static will make them happier either.

    I was collecting laserdiscs before they were popular (they were, you know, for at least a week) and of course I own DVDs now. While it wouldn't be fair to claim that I don't care about picture quality, next time I watch Casablanca I won't be counting how many pixels it takes to resolve Bogie's face. His acting is just as good at NTSC resolution as HD.

    There's better, and then there's "good enough." Your average consumer is satisfied with "good enough" and after that they're mostly interested in price and convenience. Why didn't DAT take over from Phillips cassettes? Because cassettes were "good enough", cheap, convenient, and established. Why did cassettes take over from reel-to-reel, quite obviously a superior format? Go on, you'll never guess. CDs took over from vinyl not because they were superior quality, but for convenience reasons. They killed the cassette too but you'll notice it took much longer. Why didn't SVHS take over from VHS? For that matter, why didn't laserdisc? Because VHS was "good enough" and nobody wanted to invest the money in a format that didn't give them anything except higher resolution, when what they had was "good enough." (And you couldn't record on laserdisc.)

    OK, great. You've got digital, high-definition, wide-screen TV. Now what? What do you do with it? Great for videophiles and movie nights, but what difference does it really make to casual viewing? Will it bring us better TV shows, or just the same old drek with vertical bars on either end?

    Oh, it's a great boondoggle for the hardware companies. Just when our economy is totally in the toilet, everybody in the US is forced to buy brand new hardware if they want to keep watching TV. I dunno, maybe it's a blessing in disguise. Those who can't afford it will just have to go outside and start living real life. You know, outdoors? You walk through a hole in the wall and experience an abrupt change of environment?

    You call troll and BS. I call reality. Real reality, not the predigested pap you see on half your TV channels. I call somebody who is paying attention.

    P.S. Don't forget the homework.

    P.P.S. In case you don't get my jokes, here's a bonus question.

    Now let me slip on this flame-retardant underwear. (Due to the truth in advertising laws, it can no longer be called "flame-proof".)

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