If only Dickens were around to write the novel

People sleeping through FCC hearing
Photograph from Portfolio.com, courtesy of: Free Press

From yesterday in Portfolio.com:

How big are the stakes in the so-called network neutrality debate now raging before Congress and federal regulators?

Consider this: One side in the debate actually went to the trouble of hiring people off the street to pack a Federal Communications Commission meeting yesterday—and effectively keep some of its opponents out of the room.

Broadband giant Comcast—the subject of the F.C.C. hearing on network neutrality at the Harvard Law School, in Cambridge, Massachusetts—acknowledged that it did exactly that.

Comcast spokeswoman Jennifer Khoury said that the company paid some people to arrive early and hold places in the queue for local Comcast employees who wanted to attend the hearing.

Some of those placeholders, however, did more than wait in line: They filled many of the seats at the meeting, according to eyewitnesses. As a result, scores of Comcast critics and other members of the public were denied entry because the room filled up well before the beginning of the hearing.

Feel free to stomp around and tear your hair a bit. I know I did.

Thanks to Jim Long for the pointer.

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2 thoughts on “If only Dickens were around to write the novel”

  1. Doesn’t it? I’m sure it’s probably legal, but it’s so clearly and deeply unethical that you really want to smack somebody. I’d expect better from a bunch of 5th graders.

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