FCC Chief Fights Fire With Humor After Protesters Storm His Home
Protesters in favor of net neutrality swarmed FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s home last week, after reportedly being set off by a segment on John Oliver’s late-night show. The newly appointed chief shook off criticism with a video, reading off angry tweets -- some of which were highly offensive. He joined the FOX Business Network’s Varney & Co. to discuss.
“It has been pretty vitriolic and those were some of the more PG-13 rated tweets that were found, but I understand that people are passionate about this issue. My goal has simply been to focus on the facts and the law and try to have as civil a discussion as possible and perhaps inject a little bit of humor in there and so that’s why I put out the mean tweets video and I’ve got to say it was a little bit of fun doing it,” he said.
The chairman outlined a plan, in April, to loosen the government’s oversight of high-speed internet providers implemented during the Obama Administration. In his opinion, these rules are out of date and harmful to business.
“The basic message I’ve said is, look, the more heavily you regulate something, the less likely you are to get that something. And so in this case, we want to return to the light-touch Clinton-era regulations that produced the internet economy that’s the envy of the world and that’s not a radical step in my view at least,” he said.
Despite pushback, Pai remains confident about winning Americans over.
“I go back to the speech that President Obama gave in Tucson a few years ago where he talked about civility and the basic point he made. There is the point that I think remains relevant today that people can disagree on public policy issues without being disagreeable, certainly violent. That’s the spirit with which I’ve embraced public service throughout my career and that’s something I hope the American people will embrace as well,” he said.