TV stations have found an unlikely ally in their legal fight with the Federal Communications Commission: AT&T.
The TV broadcasters and cell-phone carriers are usually at each other’s throats as they each fight for access to as much of the public airwaves as possible.
But in a blog post Wednesday, AT&T said the FCC should cave (at least partially) to the broadcasters’ latest demands rather than risk delaying an auction of airwave licenses. Joan Marsh, AT&T’s head of regulatory affairs, said she believes the broadcasters are “willing to consider a reasonable compromise.”
“Compromise must continue to be the hallmark of the incentive auction proceeding,” she wrote, adding that industry groups and the FCC have compromised on a range of issues related to the upcoming auction. “And we believe that the issues raised by [the National Association of Broadcasters] can similarly be resolved—and resolved quickly.”
Earlier this week, the NAB sued over the FCC’s plan to buy back their broadcast licenses for auction to the cell-phone industry.
TV stations don’t have to participate in the auction, and the airwaves will mean faster smartphone connections for millions of consumers. But the broadcasters claimed that the stations that skip the auction could reach fewer viewers and could be forced to pay millions of dollars to revamp their equipment to work on new channels.
The group wants the FCC to rework its rules but is not trying to stop the auction entirely. The broadcasters are urging the FCC to set aside an additional $500 million to compensate the TV stations for their expenses and to use a different formula to ensure that the stations can reach the same number of viewers as before the auction.
An FCC spokesperson said the agency is “confident” the plan complies with the law.
But a prolonged legal battle could force the agency to delay the auction, which is scheduled for next year. The cell-phone industry has been clamoring for more airwaves as soon as possible, warning that their networks could soon become congested due to skyrocketing traffic.
In a note to investors, Paul Gallant of Guggenheim Partners said the lawsuit could delay the auction by six months to a year. That is, of course, unless the FCC just gives the broadcasters what they want.
A broadcast industry official said it’s a “good sign” that AT&T has indicated it wants a compromise on the issue.
“So now the question is, will the FCC compromise?” the official said.
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Before we get to the specifics of this exposé about escorts working the Iowa and New Hampshire primary crowds, let’s get three things out of the way: 1.) It’s from Cosmopolitan; 2.) most of the women quoted use fake (if colorful) names; and 3.) again, it’s from Cosmopolitan. That said, here’s what we learned:
- Business was booming: one escort who says she typically gets two inquiries a weekend got 15 requests in the pre-primary weekend.
- Their primary season clientele is a bit older than normal—”40s through mid-60s, compared with mostly twentysomething regulars” and “they’ve clearly done this before.”
- They seemed more nervous than other clients, because “the stakes are higher when you’re working for a possible future president” but “all practiced impeccable manners.”
- One escort “typically enjoy[s] the company of Democrats more, just because I feel like our views line up a lot more.”
No matter where you stand on mandating companies to include a backdoor in encryption technologies, it doesn’t make sense to allow that decision to be made on a state level. “The problem with state-level legislation of this nature is that it manages to be both wildly impractical and entirely unenforceable,” writes Brian Barrett at Wired. There is a solution to this problem. “California Congressman Ted Lieu has introduced the ‘Ensuring National Constitutional Rights for Your Private Telecommunications Act of 2016,’ which we’ll call ENCRYPT. It’s a short, straightforward bill with a simple aim: to preempt states from attempting to implement their own anti-encryption policies at a state level.”
Much has been made of David Brooks’s recent New York Times column, in which confesses to missing already the civility and humanity of Barack Obama, compared to who might take his place. In NewYorker.com, Jeffrey Frank reminds us how critical such attributes are to foreign policy. “It’s hard to imagine Kennedy so casually referring to the leader of Russia as a gangster or a thug. For that matter, it’s hard to imagine any president comparing the Russian leader to Hitler [as] Hillary Clinton did at a private fund-raiser. … Kennedy, who always worried that miscalculation could lead to war, paid close attention to the language of diplomacy.”
The New Covenant. The Third Way. The Democratic Leadership Council style. Call it what you will, but whatever centrist triangulation Bill Clinton embraced in 1992, Hillary Clinton wants no part of it in 2016. Writing for Bloomberg, Sasha Issenberg and Margaret Talev explore how Hillary’s campaign has “diverged pointedly” from what made Bill so successful: “For Hillary to survive, Clintonism had to die.” Bill’s positions in 1992—from capital punishment to free trade—“represented a carefully calibrated diversion from the liberal orthodoxy of the previous decade.” But in New Hampshire, Hillary “worked to juggle nostalgia for past Clinton primary campaigns in the state with the fact that the Bill of 1992 or the Hillary of 2008 would likely be a marginal figure within today’s Democratic politics.”
At first, “it was pleasant” to see Trevor Noah “smiling away and deeply dimpling in the Stewart seat, the seat that had lately grown gray hairs,” writes The Atlantic‘s James Parker in assessing the new host of the once-indispensable Daily Show. But where Jon Stewart was a heavyweight, Noah is “a very able lightweight, [who] needs time too. But he won’t get any. As a culture, we’re not about to nurture this talent, to give it room to grow. Our patience was exhausted long ago, by some other guy. We’re going to pass judgment and move on. There’s a reason Simon Cowell is so rich. Impress us today or get thee hence. So it comes to this: It’s now or never, Trevor.”