Critics aren’t amused with Comcast’s use of an old Washington, D.C., lobbying trick to pack a Cambridge hearing earlier this week with paid “line standers” who saved seats for Comcast supporters.
Whether a common practice or not in Washington, the tactic was inappropriate for a special FCC field hearing that was intended to let the public, not paid bystanders, attend Monday’s event - which was so crowded that about 100 people were shut out of the hearing, critics said.
“Comcast approached the hearing with its cable monopolist hat on,” said Jeffrey Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, a digital media public interest group.
“(Comcast) didn’t think anything [was] wrong with a we-will-pay-per-seat-for-our-supporters approach to packing the hearing.”
As promised, anti-'media consolidation' activists asked a federal court to throw out the Federal Communications Commission's recent media-ownership decision.
Media Access Project Tuesday filed a petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit on behalf of Prometheus Radio Project and in opposition to loosening the newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership rules, which the FCC did Dec. 18.