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FCC Chief Shares Bed With Two Lobbyists

Finally, there's evidence that FCC head Kevin Martin is in bed with industry lobbyists -- a photo in Details magazine shows Martin in an unmade bed in a hotel room with a lobbyist and a communications executive.
The magazine shows Martin without jacket and tie, and his sleeves rolled up, standing on an unmade bed. On the bed is Alex Vogel, who is a partner at the lobbying firm Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti. Vogel is playing cards with Eric Logan, an executive at XM Satellite Radio, which frequently has cases that appear before the FCC. The photo is part of an essay about influential people in the media industry.

Why the big deal about a playful photo? Because it illustrates what many people have been saying -- that Martin is in bed with lobbyists and communications companies. His opposition to network neutrality, siding with big communications firms on other issues, while ignoring consumers, makes that clear.

Consumer groups, as you might imagine, were not amused.

"Didn't the guy realize there is a phrase 'you are in bed with the industry'? It is incredible," Jeff Chester, executive director for consumer-advocacy group Center for Digital Democracy told the Washington Post. "I think the chairs of the FCC should be above reproach, should have a open mind on the issues and certainly not be seen in bed with lobbyists metaphorically, pictorially or otherwise," Chester said.

The photo isn't the problem -- it's Martin's actions that are the issue. So one might argue the picture is a good thing, because it makes visually clear what people have been charging for quite some time.