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It's funny.  Laugh. Government United States Verizon

There Are Ajit Pai 'Verizon Puppet' Jokes That the FCC Doesn't Want You To Read (arstechnica.com) 97

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: The Federal Communications Commission is refusing to release the draft versions of jokes told by Chairman Ajit Pai at a recent dinner, claiming that releasing the drafts would "impede the candid exchange of ideas" within the commission. In December, Pai gave a speech at the annual FCC Chairman's Dinner and played a video that attempts to lampoon critics who accuse Pai of doing the bidding of Verizon, his former employer. The video was shown less than a week before the FCC voted to repeal net neutrality rules, a favorable move for the broadband industry requested by Verizon and other ISPs. The satirical skit shows Pai planning his future ascension to the FCC chairmanship with Verizon executive Kathleen Grillo in 2003, the last year Pai worked as a Verizon lawyer. The video shows Pai and the Verizon executive plotting to install a "Verizon puppet" as FCC chair. In response, Gizmodo filed a Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) request for "any communications records from within the chairman's office referencing the event or the Verizon executive," the news site wrote yesterday. "Nearly a dozen pages worth of emails were located, including draft versions of the video's script and various edits," Gizmodo wrote. "The agency is refusing to release them, however; it is 'reasonably foreseeable,' it said, that doing so would injure the 'quality of agency decisions.'" The FCC searched for the records in response to Gizmodo's request and "returned no communications whatsoever with Kathy Grillo," the article said.

There Are Ajit Pai 'Verizon Puppet' Jokes That the FCC Doesn't Want You To Read

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  • by JaredOfEuropa ( 526365 ) on Sunday February 11, 2018 @08:55AM (#56103739) Journal

    There Are Ajit Pai 'Verizon Puppet' Jokes That the FCC Doesn't Want You To Read

    The real question is: will #4 shock me?

  • by rmdingler ( 1955220 ) on Sunday February 11, 2018 @08:57AM (#56103743) Journal

    Governmental agencies have rued the day the FOIA was implemented. Over the years, there have been many attempts to subvert the legislation's intent, from slow response times & outrageous fees per page of document, to redaction of nearly an entire requested page.

    This excuse smells like, "We don't even think enough of your request to give it thoughtful rejection."

    • This excuse smells like, "We don't even think enough of your request to give it thoughtful rejection."

      To be fair, it's a pretty stupid request designed to make Ars look clever, not serve the national interest.

      • by pots ( 5047349 )
        It's Gizmodo, not Ars, but yes: this was dumb, and rejecting the request is appropriate.
        • by HiThere ( 15173 )

          Rejecting it isn't clearly appropriate. I suspect the reason is to avoid self-defamation, but that's just a suspicion. Since FCC chairman is a political post, it is clearly appropriate for the public to know how he comports himself at official events.

          OTOH, rejecting is was probably the expected reaction. Gizmodo gets a story out of it, anyway, and the FCC chairman gets to partially conceal what a bastard he is. But it would (probably) have been a better story if Gizmodo had gotten the jokes, and when "g

        • It's Gizmodo, not Ars, but yes: this was dumb, and rejecting the request is appropriate.

          My bad. That's what I get for replying on my phone.

        • If it's such a stupid request, what are they afraid of?

        • Can you explain in detail why it would be appropriate to reject a request for the words and conduct of a government official at an official government event host by same said government official which have been reported by others to indicate an inappropriate and unethical relationship by said same official and his ex-employer which is in the industry whose regulation same said official now oversees?
        • How exactly is it innappropriate to request records of semi-public statements by an unelected member of the executive branch that reflect heavily on the growing evidence that he's unsuitable and hopelessly corrupt at the role? FOI excemption rules only protect personal information, national security secrets and certain deliberative exchanges (Ie discussions between work collegues). This fits none of those criteria and I doubt it would survive a court challenge

          • by pots ( 5047349 )
            These certainly are deliberative exchanges. There is nothing semi-public about drafts, drafts are private by their nature - they have to be in order to serve their function. We saw the public part of what resulted from those exchanges.

            This is just fishing. The only motivation for this is public anger over what the FCC is doing, it's basically harassment: hit them up with pointless requests in the hope that you'll get some tidbit of juicy gossip. It's exactly the sort of behavior that I'd expect from Gizm
  • It's a good thing there aren't other people in power positions like that in our government! ;) #ShowUsTheGirthCertificate

  • by BrendaEM ( 871664 ) on Sunday February 11, 2018 @10:32AM (#56103993) Homepage
    People get a 2nd vote with their Dollars
    • by sound+vision ( 884283 ) on Sunday February 11, 2018 @01:09PM (#56104589) Journal
      Pointing out that there is no alternative who wouldn't do exactly the same thing feels so very passé, but still I feel it must be said, since it's just as true today as it was 10 years ago, and 20 years ago, and so on. You're proposing a free-market solution where there is and can be no free market. You're proposing that we switch to AT&T to punish Verizon when Pai's policies benefit both. What do you say about fixing the actual problem - corporate stooges being put in charge of our government? Or do you think the stooge from Comcast would be a bit nicer?
      • by Rakarra ( 112805 )

        Or do you think the stooge from Comcast would be a bit nicer?

        The stooge who originally worked for Comcast, Tom Wheeler, actually was a bit nicer.
        Not that that was the intention, everyone thought he would just be the Comcast exec in charge of making things great for Comcast. No one thought he'd actually try to be serious at the job -- it's unlikely he'd have gotten the job if the they did.

  • by jenningsthecat ( 1525947 ) on Sunday February 11, 2018 @10:33AM (#56103995)

    Somebody could make quite a bit of money selling 'Ajit Pai' string puppets, along with recordings of the advertising jingles of the big ISP's. "Make the FCC dance just like Verizon does" is one possible advertising slogan for the next fad toy. I'll bet Amazon could sell truckloads of them - especially if the toy comes with instructions for making the puppet bend over and spread its cheeks.

  • [...] it is 'reasonably foreseeable,' it said, that doing so would injure the 'quality of agency decisions.'"

    Know what else could “injure” the “quality” of agency “decisions”?!? Putting Ajit Pai in charge of the FCC, predictably, and sure-enough... when will the incompetent/evil/vicious/stupid/bad-governance-on-purpose/corrupt nightmare END?

  • by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Sunday February 11, 2018 @03:01PM (#56105027)

    refusing to release the draft versions of jokes told by Chairman Ajit Pai ... claiming that ... would "impede the candid exchange of ideas" ...

    ... jokes *are* a candid exchange of ideas.

    (I thought the only bad joke at the FCC *was* Ajit Pai.)

  • by Subm ( 79417 ) on Sunday February 11, 2018 @04:50PM (#56105389)

    Ajit Pai: If you don't want people to characterize you as an industry puppet, don't be an industry puppet.

    It's not that complicated.

    • by haruchai ( 17472 )

      Ajit Pai: If you don't want people to characterize you as an industry puppet, don't be an industry puppet.

      It's not that complicated.

      You're assuming he has a spine. Or gives a damn about anyone who's not paying him to do their bidding.

  • A sock puppet can be turned back into a sock and put to good use. Ajit Pai has no use.

  • Seriously? I couldn't give a rats ass what his "rejected" jokes look like. Is it in our best interest to know what jokes didn't make the cut? Do we ask for all 319 revisions of his speech as well so that we can make fun of the poor grammar and spelling mistakes? Seriously, this shit needs to not even make it on any new sites, legitimate or not. This kind of thing is meant for ONE reason only, and that is to cause more division between people. Just political bullshit.

"Yeah, but you're taking the universe out of context."

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