Tuesday, May 17, 2011

FCC Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker defends move to Comcast as backlash grows | Company Town | Los Angeles Times

FCC Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker defends move to Comcast as backlash grows | Company Town | Los Angeles Times

Federal Communications Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker defended her decision to leave the regulatory agency to take a job at Comcast Corp. just months after voting yes on the cable giant's heavily scrutinized acquisition of General Electric Co.'s NBCUniversal.

In a statement, Baker said, "I have not only complied with the legal and ethical laws, but I also have gone further. I have not participated or voted any item, not just those related to Comcast or NBCUniversal, since entering discussions about an offer of potential employment." She said Comcast approached her about a job last month, which was when Bob Okun, the longtime head of NBC's D.C. lobbying office, announced his departure.

Since her hiring was announced earlier this week, Baker has taken lots of heat from media watchdogs.

"This is just the latest -- though perhaps most blatant -- example of a so-called public servant cashing in at a company she is supposed to be regulating," said Craig Aaron, president and chief executive of Free Press, a nonprofit media reform organization.

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