Tags: fcc | federal communications commission | liberal groups | net neutrality

Daily Caller: FCC Gave Preferential Treatment to Liberal Groups in 2014

Daily Caller: FCC Gave Preferential Treatment to Liberal Groups in 2014
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai (Photo by Ron Sachs/AP Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 30 August 2017 02:58 PM

Officials at the Federal Communications Commission in 2014 gave more attention to liberal groups that favored net neutrality, according to The Daily Caller News Foundation.

During a time period in 2014 when the public could comment on the debate on net neutrality, opponents and those who favored the policy posted comments, but FCC employees communicated and accommodated groups that lean liberal, regarding the net neutrality issue, including Fight for the Future and a larger group, Battle for the Net, according to The Daily Caller.

Implementing net neutrality policy would place the U.S. government at the center of Internet protocol, according to The Daily Caller.

Holmes Wilson, the co-founder of Fight for the Future, commented in one email obtained by The Daily Caller through a Freedom of Information Act request that comments could be filed through another channel. The FCC helped Fight for the Future with filing comments, and with its public relations, according to The Daily Caller.

"I am very much in favor of trying to accommodate them as much as we can since they were so accommodating of us yesterday," said Gigi Sohn, who was at the time a counselor for Tom Wheeler, a Democrat, who was then the FCC chairman.

"Thanks so much to all of you for your efforts," Sohn wrote to Wilson and others a couple of days later. "We'll do our best and keep our fingers crossed too!"

"They clearly were coordinating closely and in advance to ensure it went well," said Evan Swarztrauber, public affairs director at the TechFreedom think tank, who reviewed the emails. "It is only inappropriate if the FCC did not provide the same responsiveness and assistance to any opposition groups that sought similar help."

Phil Kerpen, of the right-leaning group American Commitment, told The Daily Caller News Foundation that his group did not get preferential treatment.

"We certainly didn't get any kind of high-level assistance from high-level staffers managing media requests and helping to shape a narrative," he said.

Taxpayers Protection Alliance president David Williams said in The Daily Caller's report that such action by the FCC is not ethical.

"The FCC should not be politically driven or motivated on either side of the political aisle . . . the FCC should be neutral when accepting and processing comments. Any manipulation of that process is bad for policy and bad for government in general," Williams said.

Wheeler eventually adopted Internet regulations that favored net neutrality.

"FttF (Fight for the Future) became the FCC's client, not the American people's, not all voices, and certainly not conservative market-based commenters who deserved a fair shake from the agency during this process. The Net Neutrality order could not have gone through without this centerpiece happening," said Mike Wendy, public affairs director of the think tank TechFreedom, in The Daily Caller's report.

The Washington Post reported that Wednesday is the last day for the public to file comments on net neutrality with the FCC.

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Officials at the Federal Communications Commission in 2014 gave more attention to liberal groups that favored net neutrality, according to The Daily Caller News Foundation.
fcc, federal communications commission, liberal groups, net neutrality
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2017-58-30
Wednesday, 30 August 2017 02:58 PM
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