Meredith Attwell Baker, one of two Republican FCC commissioners, voted in late January to approve the merger of Comcast and NBC. Less than four months later, she announced that she is leaving the FCC to become a lobbyist for the merged company.

It may be that Ms. Baker would have approved the merger irrespective of her career ambitions, but her disregard for the minimum ethical standard is shocking even by Washington standards.

In case it needs spelling out: Government officials should not be able to profit from the corporations they regulate.

It is to the great discredit of the other four FCC commissioners, three of whom also approved the merger, that none had anything but well wishes to offer Ms. Baker.

Craig Aaron of Free Press, quoted by The New York Times, put it well:

“No wonder the public is so nauseated by business as usual in Washington, where the complete capture of government by industry barely raises any eyebrows,” Mr. Aaron said. “The continuously revolving door at the F.C.C. continues to erode any prospects for good public policy.”


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