Comcast Decides To Not Spend $110K On Party For FCC Commissioner

Comcast — no stranger to lining the pockets of those who can help the company get what it wants (or rewarding them afterward with high-paying jobs) — was befuddled earlier this week when it and Time Warner Cable were heavily criticized for plunking down a total of $132,000 to sponsor a dinner honoring FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn… who just happens to be in the process of reviewing the two companies’ pending merger. Realizing that maybe this might look like something just short of bribery, the cable giants have decided to pull their money — sort of.

Deadline reports that Comcast (responsible for $110K of the total donation) and TWC will no longer be sponsoring the upcoming Walter Kaitz Foundation dinner, where Clyburn is being honored.

Comcast asked the Kaitz Foundation that “there be no recognition of Comcast at the dinner,” explaining that “We do not want either the Commissioner or Kaitz to fall under a shadow as a result of our support for diversity in the cable industry….By the same token, we do not want to punish Kaitz or detract from its important work.”

The company maintains that implications of buying Clyburn’s support “are insulting and not supported by any evidence.”

No evidence? We’d like to point to former FCC Commissioner Meredith Atwell Baker, who helped champion Comcast’s merger with NBC and was then rewarded with a job as a D.C.-based lobbyist for Comcast.

Time Warner Cable also gave a statement about how it pulled its piddling $22,000 contribution. Good for them.

The companies are still giving their money to the Kaitz Foundation, but will be doing it through different channels, instead of by sponsoring a party to honor one of the few people who has the leverage to shut down its merger plans.

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