During today’s hearing an FCC oversight hearing in the Senate, Senator Maggie Hassan (D-New Hampshire) twice asked FCC Chairman Ajit Pai a simple question: “Do you agree with the current administration’s statement that the press is the enemy of the American people?” To which Pai answered: “I believe that every American has the right to the freedoms extended to them under the First Amendment.” Unsatisfied with the answer, Hassan repeated the question, asking for a “yes or no,” but just Pai repeated the same answer. He made a similar dodge to the same question from Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) earlier in the hearing.
You can see the full exchange at the 2:23:20 mark here.
Pai met with Donald Trump Monday (for the second time this year), at which time Trump nominated Pai for a second term as FCC chairman. Pai is respected by many politicians and industry people—Republican and Democrat—but it’s worth asking if the new chairman’s political center of gravity has shifted now that he’s entered Trump’s orbit.