Free Press Friday said it was stunned by the lack of
congressional questions Friday about the exit of FCC Commissioner Meredith
Baker for a job with NBCU.
In a House Communications Subcommittee FCC reform hearing
Friday (May 13) featuring all the commissioners but her, Baker's name was
raised only to note her absence--she had withdrawn--and to praise her service.
Free Press wanted some questioning on the ethics of the move
so soon after Baker voted to approve the Comcast/NBCU deal. Baker said in a
statement Friday she had vetted the move with FCC attorneys and had not been
approached until April--the deal was approved in January--and at that time had
stopped voting on issues, Comcast or otherwise.
Free Press said it was collecting letters calling on Rep.
Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight
and Government Reform Committee to look into the move, pointing out
that Issa had pledged to investigate "outside influence that would
constitute a 'serious breach of the independent proceedings of the FCC.'"
Issa had been talking in terms of possible FCC/White
House contacts about network neutrality rules.
"It is stunning that at a hearing about reforming the
FCC no member of Congress raised the topic of Commissioner Baker's recent rush
through the revolving door into the open arms of Comcast," said Free Press
President Craig Aaron.
Obama appointees, who include Baker, have pledged not to
lobby their agency for two years and the administration's senior officials,
period. Baker signed and has pledged to honor the pledge.