Miro

Miro Internet TV Blog

Comcast Secretly Pays People to Fill Seats at FCC Hearing

February 26th, 2008 by Dean Jansen

Yesterday’s public FCC hearing on net neutrality was so packed that many activists, concerned citizens, and reporters were turned away at the door. It turns out that Comcast secretly paid people to “hold seats” and cheer for industry execs during the hearing. Paid crowd members were identifiable by the yellow highlighters tucked into their lapels.

Here’s an amazing audio clip of a guy admitting he’s paid to fill a seat:
[audio:http://www.freepress.net/audio/download/38237/Comcast+Seat+Fillers.mp3]
download mp3

Free Press originally reported the incident , and posted photos and audio.

(Digg this Article!)

Update: Comcast now admits that they paid non-Comcast employees to hold spaces at the hearing.

shill crowd
The shill audience is being organized beforehand with instructions and yellow pens.

shill crowd
Many of them fell asleep during the hearing.

shill crowd
They were identifiable by their yellow highlighters.

21 Responses to “Comcast Secretly Pays People to Fill Seats at FCC Hearing”

  1. Mike says:

    Wow. Scumbags.

    I hope the FCC takes this into consideration – that it can’t even hold a hearing about Comcast tampering with the internet – without Comcast tampering with the hearing.

  2. Chris says:

    It should be noted that sadly this is a daily occurrence in our democracy. Lobbyists pay “line sitters” to hold a spot for them and thus keep out average citizens from important governmental hearings. Even labor unions now a days don’t even protest themselves, they hire homeless people to do it!

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/17/AR2007101702519.html
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/23/AR2007072302011.html

  3. Michael says:

    The two asleep can come over to my house. But seriously, can’t we get it together and stop Comcast from having a hold on us? This is ridiculous, they deserve no more than half of what I pay them every month.

  4. [...] I’m glad I’m not a comcast customer. Because, come on. [...]

  5. [...] I’m glad I’m not a comcast customer. Because, come on. [...]

  6. Stephanie says:

    This makes me incredibly angry, but also makes me feel a bit hopeless. Is there anything that I can do to make sure that they can’t do something like this again?

  7. [...] to a number of first person reports posted online, as well as eyewitnesses that this blogger has spoken to directly, Comcast [...]

  8. Dean Jansen says:

    Stephanie, I was one of the first to arrive, at 8am, and they were already starting to hold seats. I guess we just need to wake up earlier :)

  9. Christina says:

    It might look like it sometimes, but the FCC commissioners are not totally stupid. One of them told me after the event that the seat-hogging was at best a “cute parlor trick” that they had long ago learned to see through.

  10. Ben says:

    Here’s a graphic if anyone wants to display something on their blog:


    Image file is located at http://www.savetheinternet.com/graphics/comcast-hearing.jpg

  11. [...] la plateforme vidéo libre, rapporte sur son site que la cablodistributrice Comcast a payé des gens pour remplir la salle de l’Université [...]

  12. Fred Malfa says:

    The Internet should remain Free, it is a source of Free Speech. I believe it is alraedy an important source of totally FREE information. The Internet (Web) should belong to all of us and not to a highest bidder for commercial useage. We already have commercial and very Bias networks for a very slanted source of information. The Internet should remain neutral and uncommercial

  13. Ben says:

    http://dontregulate.org

    The Internet should remain Free as in Free Speech. The only way to accomplish that is to keep the government OUT of it. If telecoms are exerting too much power over the ‘net, it’s an outgrowth of government bestowing too much largess and leeway to corporations in general. Thanks to the free market we enjoy in the tech field, ideas reign supreme. Internet technology keeps improving.

    Do we have some deadbeat ISPs? Yes. Do some of them enjoy localized monopolies? Absolutely. But fortunately these are not stagnant waters, and in a free market monopolies are short lived — not because of legislation, but because of competition.

    Keep government OFF the Internet!

  14. Comcast Secretly Pays People to Fill Seats at FCC Hearing…

    Die Fachleute reden von Boom, doch die totalen Zahlen wirken immer noch ernüchternd. Aber auf diese Weise können wir immer wieder zu den Wurzeln und zu den Utopien des Lebens in zwei (oder auch mehreren) Kulturen gelangen, Dean Jansen:

    \…

  15. [...] Die Fachleute reden von Boom, doch die totalen Zahlen wirken immer noch ernüchternd. Aber auf diese Weise können wir immer wieder zu den Wurzeln und zu den Utopien des Lebens in zwei (oder auch mehreren) Kulturen gelangen, Dean Jansen: [...]

  16. David says:

    Hmmm I guess it paid better than donating plasma.

  17. [...] O’Reilly Radar, Ars Technica, IP Democracy, Miro, Boing Boing, DSLreports, Gizmodo, Public Knowledge, TECH.BLORGE.com, Valleywag, Silicon Alley [...]

  18. Peter says:

    Stand or Fall 3-09-08
    Peter Macdonald 465 Packersfalls rd Lee NH 03824 603-659-6217
    Does the U.S. stand or fall as a nation where the government is of the people for the people. The News media refuses to print the un-edited opinion of the people. I do not hesitate to give you my name, address and phone number on every letter that I write. I do not hesitate to clearly state as I have in court documents that Judge Peter Fauver violated the law and Constitution to intentionally harm U.S. citizens. This judge is a criminal that the NH Supreme Court and government over looks for what ever reason. Government is here to serve the people. The NH government and Veterans Administration has inflicted pain and suffering on a service connected 100% disabled Veteran to protect this judge. This is a crime. The news media refuses to inform it’s readers. This is a slap in the face to the United States of America. To censor the public from the truth is the most outrageous ethical crime ever committed. I have violated no laws. What I have done is volunteer to help people that I do not even know that are in need, every day since I came back in 74. I help anyone and every one that I see in need. I stand for the people of the United States of America.
    The news media believes not printing my letters is doing the people a favor. My letters are printed on the web, blogs and many other places. The News media and newspapers are the only ones not printing them. I see that Judge Fauver gets a copy. Judge Fauver may be mad but the truth is even above Fauver’s control. The news media’s claim that my letters are libelous is an excuse with out merit. To stop a disabled veteran’s medical care, or for Fauver to use the sheriff’s office to harass me will not change the truth. This Madbury NH family that Fauver made an 11 grade drop out an attorney to represent (me) will not stop volunteer helping this family because this family is everyone of you (U.S. citizens). The people of the United States of America must be informed that NH and the VA is violating the law and human rights to inflict harm on a 100% disabled Veteran that’s only crime is volunteer helping others. The opinion of the people was so important that our founding fathers gave the news media constitutional protection. Does any news media have the ethical responsibility to print a letter written by some one whom gave his life for the United States of America. Our children join our military to protect your freedom. The people back here must help this nation stand because by allowing people like Judge Peter Fauver to destroy others lives with out speaking up will make this nation fall.
    Peter Macdonald Sgt USMC Semper Fi

  19. [...] Comcast pays to fill seats at FCC hearing, as reported by us: Yesterday’s public FCC hearing on net neutrality was so packed that many activists, concerned [...]