It's a pretty safe bet that Sen. Arlen Specter (D-This week) isn't going to go all Anita Hill on the pending Comcast merger with NBC-Universal. Check this out:
The Comcast contingent received a warm welcome in the Senate hearing room from Sen. Arlen Specter (D., Pa.), a member of the Senate Antitrust subcommittee. Specter shook hands with Brian and Ralph Roberts. "I know Comcast and I know Brian and I know his father, Ralph Roberts," Specter said in his statements at the hearing. "They are really very good corporate citizens and their management is brilliant."
You know what I'll bet Specter thinks is the most brilliant thing Comcast's executives have done? They've donated a whopping $108,580 to his 2010 re-election campaign, according to OpenSecrets.org. That only makes Comcast the second largest source of campaign cash for Specter, however. The biggest is the Philadelphia-based legal and lobbying powerhouse Blank Rome. You know who one of Blank Rome's lobbying clients is? Comcast Corp.
The thing is, as a consumer and a Philadelphian I'm not totally convinced that the NBC-Comcast deal is such a horrible thing. It does bother me, however, the way that local pols like Specter are so easily rolling over for Comcast instead of using their political clout to get a better deal for us lowly, non-cash-contributing customers and to also push for more jobs for Philadelphia. (Right now, the deal means no jobs here, so even 1 hire would be an improvement). I'd like to see Specter, Mayor Nutter and the rest locate their inner LBJ -- and wait for the groundbreaking of the new NBC backlot in West Philly before they approve this thing.
It's another weekend -- by Monday I'll be back here with something that may surprise a few folks. Or not.