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Show me the Consumers in the “Consumer Coalition for Competition in Satellite Radio”

From Radio Ink:

In an ex parte filing with the FCC, the Consumer Coalition for Competition in Satellite Radio has asked the commission to hold hearings on the proposed merger of XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio because new documents submitted by Sirius on April 10 “cast the proposed merger in a very negative light and call into question the truthfulness and candor of both Sirius and XM with respect to their dealings with the commission as licensees and during this proceeding.”

A cursory reading might suggest that there is actually a group of consumers who are so riled about this pending merger that they would band together into a coalition to make their voices heard.

But wait. How come nobody is asking the obvious (but harder) questions?

Who, for example, is the “Consumer Coalition for Competition”? And does it actually have anything to do with consumers?

Of course not. In fact, the real identity of this group has been public knowledge for some time. And it should certainly inform the newsworthy-ness of their silly news releases.

The group describes itself this way: “a group of concerned Sirius and XM subscribers have formed the Consumer Coalition for Competition in Satellite Radio.”

Not surprisingly this group of “concerned subscribers” is financed (in part, at least) by the NAB and their address, it turns out, is a UPS Store in D.C.

According to the Center for Public Integrity:

…all of the lobbying on behalf of C3SR takes place out of the offices of the law firm of Williams Mullen. Attorney [and lobbyist] Julian L. Shepard chairs the firm’s communications practice, and is the former assistant general counsel for NAB

Did you know that the NAB and a slew of high-powered Washington lobbyists lead double-lives as “concerned Sirius and XM subscribers?” i certainly didn’t. But I’ll bet they are certainly concerned!

Look, there’s nothing wrong with building a case. But when you create shell organizations to mask who the “consumer voices” are really coming from, you’re calling consumers “stupid” and slaying your own argument in the process.

These particular “consumers” should be more concerned about credibility than about satellite radio.

And this is a group deriding the alleged “truthfulness and candor” of Sirius and XM?!

Do as I say, not as I do.

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