Mokhiber: Question: For the past sixty years, federal law has prohibited a foreign
government takeover of U.S. telecommunications assets.
Last month, the FCC rewrote the law and allowed German
government-controlled Deutsche Telekom to buy [U.S.-based] Voicestream.
Senator (Ernest) Hollings (D-South Carolina) is upset.
He is going to introduce legislation to reverse it. In a 92-page
decision by Michael Powell -- the son of Colin Powell and head of the
FCC -- he basically said -- foreign government-controlled companies? No
problem, come in.
I was wondering, does the President side with Michael Powell at the
FCC, or does he side with Senator Hollings, who is going to introduce
legislation, and who said -- we didn't deregulate the
telecommunications market so the German government can come in and buy
Ari Fleischer: Let me see if I can't get you anything on that . . .
Mokhiber: Ari, last week the President. . .
Ari Fleischer: You only get one today.
(Note to readers: Immediately after the press briefing, another
reporter (Les Kinsolving) asked Ari why Major Garrett, White House
correspondent for CNN, gets many questions, and I get only one.
Ari didn't respond, but instead he waved me over ("Hey, Russell") from
across the room.
Unfortunately, about ten reporters stood before Ari and I, and I didn't
get a chance to meet the man up close and personal. Stay tuned.)