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Published on Tuesday, May 8, 2001
 
Ari the Evader by Russell Mokhiber...
 
Ari & I
White House Press Briefing with Ari Fleischer
 
 
May 8, 2001 12:30 PM
 
 
by Russell Mokhiber
 
     
  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 this?

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.)

###

 
 

-Thanks to Russell Mokhiber

White House reporter Russell Mokhiber is the editor of the Washington, D.C.-based Corporate Crime Reporter - www.corporatecrimereporter.com. He co-authors the weekly Focus on the Corporation column with Robert Weissman which Common Dreams publishes. He can be reached at: russell@nationalpress.com

 

 
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