From the departments of “What’s Up with That?” and “Lost Cajones Finally Located” there is a story that states that former FCC Chairman Kevin Martin is lining up against the buyout of NBC by Comcast Cable.

Apparently, he does not think the results would be Comcastic.


The LA Times has a story about how former FCC Chairman Kevin Martin is working for a number of different groups to oppose Comcast’s buyout of NBC Universal. It expresses surprise from some quarters that a former chair of the main regulatory body for the media, telecom and broadcast industry would take such a high-profile role, particularly in light of his bent for loosening restrictions on mergers. But buried deep in the article, four paragraphs from the end, is the nod to Martin’s past that might help explain things: he’s never appeared to like cable companies, compared to his telco buddies. In particular, he’s had a few head-butting moments with Comcast: he led the push for sanctions against it regarding its traffic-shaping policies, and he held Comcast to a completely different standard on net neutrality than he did AT&T. But perhaps the most telling moment of Martin’s past is how when it came to lifting regulations for telcos, he was all for it, while pushing for new regulations for cable companies — including power to limit their ability to merge. So while it may be unusual for a former FCC chairman to get involved in a case like the Comcast-NBC Universal deal, Martin’s position is completely consistent with his past, even if it has brought him some unfamiliar liberal bedfellows.

So while we may applaud the move, it looks as though the reasoning for the opposition may be faulty. Still, I suppose the “end justifies the means” applies, too.

Just because the reasoning is wrong, the outcome would be so right. It is like letting the leader of Iran  get his hands on some high-grade plutonium,  though he may be too stupid to know exactly what to do with it, you still don’t want to take any chances. In the same way, we don’t want Comcast to get its hands on the content of NBC and ruin everything. Remember the other companies, and channels, that are part of NBC Universal. That would be a lot to have messed up under the control of someone at Comcast.


Kevin Martin, like Homer Simpson, is on the right side of an argument some of the time. Perhaps we should be thankful for help, no matter where it comes from.

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