The AT&T/Time Warner Trial

Trump’s Justice Department goes to court this week to block the merger of AT&T and Time Warner on “anti-competition concerns.”

Like most of the things that come out of this administration, this is a joke.

HBO has 54 million subscribers and spent $2bn on new content last year.

My friend Pat Keane tweeted this out last month:

And what about Amazon? With 80mm global Prime subscribers, they are maybe the biggest threat of them all

This trial is a joke. A waste of taxpayers money. All because our loser President hates CNN. Ugh.


Comments (Archived):

    1. DJL

      The best comment yet! This is a total nothing. Let’s do a token offering to save CNN.

      1. fredwilson

        Let’s not. CNN sucks

        1. DJL

          We agree again. We are on a roll now! ;>)

          1. fredwilson

            Fox does too. All of these shills posing as news orgs suck

          2. DJL

            I stopped watching Fox after the election. They have made their entire editorial agenda about politics. They used to cover other conservative topics I cared about.

          3. JamesHRH

            Bloomberg is the best source of news on TV. WSJ is second.

    2. Richard

      This is the closest I’ve ever seen you challenge a position of Freds. Hey it’s a good start. We will make a New Yorker out of you yet.

      1. awaldstein

        William will never be a New Yorker until he learns to ride the subway.

  1. Frank W. Miller

    I didn’t vote from Trump, but I’d definitely say that CNN hates him so, touche’?

    1. Pete Griffiths

      Parents are taught to condemn the behavior not the child.But even the most well meaning patent can find that tough at times.For a real journalist who takes the responsibility of reporting seriously, who fact checks and apologizes for mistakes, it is tough to deal calmly with a serial liar who assaults first the truth then you for pointing out first the untruths then that the public is being subjected to endless cynical self serving communications in a firehouse of lies designed to fire up his base and manipulate the news cycle.The press are by no means perfect but they have some professional pride.)

      1. kidmercury

        the voice of trump’s base is alternative, grassroots media that embraces kookology. these people view CNN, new york times, and washington post as an unholy trinity that are the enemy of the american people. while trump’s tactics here may be unsavory, they will be welcome by many — perhaps the majority. the perception is that CNN is like a schoolyard bully, the american people are the scrawny nerdy kid who gets beat up for his lunch money, and trump is like the “good guy” who defends the nerdy kid and gives a beatdown to the bully (CNN). is a beatdown appropriate? maybe not, but it will be loved and seen as heroic would behoove those who seek compromise to understand why CNN is so despised. it is not simply because they say bad things about trump and trump doesn’t like it. it is because all they do is lie to the american people, and the american people finally have a voice that can stand up for them (trump and his internet media). trump is deeply flawed, but that logic will continue to be powerful until a better media arises.

        1. Pete Griffiths

          I think there is a lot in what you say. The psyche is the disenfranchised is now probably the biggest topic in politics studies.I think that all mainstream media missed the boat on giving a voice to that dusenchantment. I do think this was a problem that lately revolved around class and geography and it was a serious failing. But I don’t think this mistake is lying. It truly doesn’t belong on the same side as Trump’s ongoing falsehoods.I absolutely agree that whichever voice rises to give a more constructive (and truthful) analysis of the current state of the union will have to address the alienation felt by tens of millions of Americans. Of course, recognising the problem doesn’t solve it.

          1. kidmercury

            that is where the trump supporters will disagree; they see trump’s lies as lies in the technical sense, not in the moral sense. they see mainstream media as pathological liars of a moral/spiritual vein.

          2. cavepainting

            There are a few light years distance between Trump and anything moral/spiritual.Think independently without affiliation to tribe, religion, party, or anything else and the travesty is obvious.

          3. kidmercury

            i’m not saying trump is moral or virtuous; i’m saying his audience does not perceive his lies to be a reflection of his immorality. they see the lies of the mainstream media to be far more offensive.

          4. cavepainting

            That is true thanks to his ability to persuade his base to believe whatever he says.If there is anything he has proven, it is that many people form opinions and vote primarily on emotions, tribe, and culture, not policy or their own self interests.So much for the enlightened state of American democracy.

          5. kidmercury

            the lies of mainstream media are well-documented. that they are ignored by half the country that treats CNN, washington post, and new york times as the word of god is a big part of what stirs the passion of trump’s base, and by extension enables his ascent. trump denouncers would benefit from understanding this dynamic rather than dismissing it blindly under the rubric that all trump supporters are incapable of intellectual rigor.

          6. cavepainting

            The dynamic is real. It is based on grievances and resentments, not awareness of their real needs, or who might actually help them.What are these mainstream media lies you talk about? Can you give examples?

          7. cavepainting

            There are differences between journalistic mistakes and full blown conspiracies. Btw, the last link (Russian hacking) is actually a true story.The Iraq war was the biggest scandal ever but that was perpetrated by the govt. with an agenda. Remember that the media is also dealing with incerto all the time and they can exercise bad judgement in weighting the credibility of sources. That a conspiracy does not make.Call me biased, but I can see more examples of Fox News conspiracies (Seth Rich is a good place to start) with a political agenda than NY Times, WP, or CNN. If anything, the NYtimes was disproportionately harsh on the email scandal during 2016.

          8. kidmercury

            if you want to believe the new york times in spite of all the lies, that’s your prerogative, of course. know that trump’s supporters are by and large inclined to view the links i shared as legitimate, and that their view is colored accordingly.

          9. PhilipSugar


          10. SubstrateUndertow

            Black Hats – White HatsThat is all to easy !I get the over simplification and downright misinformation ruts that they endlessly knee jerk on but still ?Their endless simplistic anti-Russia thingy is especially annoying to me but their play their role in the media landscape. Just triangulate the sources. They offer up, if nothing else, a sense of the larger public mindshare bubbles.

          11. Donna Brewington White

            Really insightful, Kid.If one is accustomed to thinking within a certain paradigm it is hard to understand this dynamic.

          12. SubstrateUndertow

            The mainstream media characteristics are a symptom of the larger profit based market system. They are not some kind of seminal fountainhead of conspiratorial evil.Are the individuals working that system evil disgusting people as Trump repeatedly tweets?And who are the alternative quality non-liar sources ?Right – everybody has their own subjective list !Not so easy to be the mainstream when your looking to hit that sweet-spot intersection that covers everyone’s subjective good-guy media list of alternative sources. And don’t forget your sweet-spot has to jump all the usual commercial success obstacles.

          13. kidmercury

            really it all starts with operation mockingbird. if that openly admitted and declassified project is acknowledged, we can stop ridiculing kooks and understand the openly admitted conspiracy to control the mainstream media. but, if that is too much to ask, trump will be able to use rejection of this information to motivate his base.

          14. Pete Griffiths

            I agree.This leads into a deep discussions that is too involved for here, but thanks for some great points.

          15. SubstrateUndertow

            “they see trump’s lies as lies in the technical sense, not in the moral sense”His lies are moral lies ?The morality of purposely stirring up people’s frustrations and angers for his own political gain with no real upside solutions. I doubt he even ran for any other purpose than Trump brand building.Were his Trump University lies moral lies and we could go on and on with such examples.I’m with you on the sentiments here but I think you may be projecting your own intellectual abstractions 🙂

        2. cavepainting

          This is a misguided and hollow argument.”American People” is a broad generalized term. They come in many hues.Just because 30% of the country hate the elite and wanted to say FU to them, does not mean the rest of the country feels the same way.There is a broad and deep uprising against the stupidity and shenanigans of Trump and his goons.When enough people vote in the mid-terms, it will be clear where the majority stands.

          1. kidmercury

            dems might win the midterm, though i doubt it. i really think trump’s momentum is growing, because the catalysts that enabled him to win have only grown in strength with no countervailing force. if we make it to 2020 elections, and the democrats don’t put forth a bernie sanders like candidate (someone radically different with a economic policy that is a clear departure from the norms of the party) they stand no chance. of that i’m fairly is not about hating the elite. it is more about hating being ignored, and feeling like you are being used and violated.

          2. Girish Mehta

            Re – “..if we make it to 2020 elections..”…elaborate please ?

          3. kidmercury

            i don’t know how much longer the country can go on, either because of its debt load, crumbling infrastructure, growing national security risk, or internal strife approaching civil war levels. maybe we make it to 2020, or maybe elections keep going but are increasingly irrelevant as state functions are usurped by other entities (probably digital networks).

          4. SubstrateUndertow

            “or maybe elections keep going but are increasingly irrelevant as state functions are usurped by other entities (probably digital networks).”BINGO !Digital-App-networks are the new political/social nervous system solution. Interdependent living-systems are sustained via dynamically adaptive feedback regulation not not by 19th century static legislative regulations.

          5. cavepainting

            Hating being ignored is true.But how is Trump helping these people?By passing tax cuts for the rich?By making health care more expensive by sabotaging ACA?Trump’s effects are more emotional, cultural, and psychological than substantive changes to the lives of the people that represent his base.Therein lies the tragedy of Trump’s base.

          6. kidmercury

            and what was the alternative? trump at least attacked the bullies that have been beating down the american people (namely, mainstream media and establishment politicians). his policies probably won’t do much to change the course of things, but at least he pointed the finger in the right direction. sort of like how throwing a brick through the window of an enron executive who manipulated power prices for his/her own profit at the expense of leaving many poor people powerless won’t bring the power or money back, but will be perceived as a form of justice (rightly or wrongly).

          7. SubstrateUndertow

            “probably won’t do much to change the course of things”Is that short term resentful emotion gratification really worth the cost of letting Trump throw out the baby and hand them back the bathwater?I get the knee jerk emotional satisfaction this bring and we have all been there at some time in our lives but we soon learn that such knee jerk emotional satisfaction is counter productive.

          8. PhilipSugar

            I think you are seriously underestimating.Do I think his stance against immigrants is absolutely STUPID. Yes. And the biggest reason is winning the hearts and minds of people that really want to come here. It is the ultimate in a really bad marketing strategy, for our biggest strength.But here is what he does. He is the ultimate “Stalin negotiator” Take off your shoe and pound it on the table. People say holy shit that guy is crazy. That strategy will work on the horrible trade deals and the other crazy people like North Korea.Look poor people know they are fucked. It’s not Trump, it’s banks, it’s tech people, it’s Hollywood elite, Media pundits.They don’t care that Trump is a rich a-hole. He flaunts it, they work for a rich a-hole. Just come out and say it, he does.Jeff Bezos….such a nice richest man in the world right???Here is an excerpt from this NYT article:In a lengthy and heavily reported article, The Call said a warehouse employee contacted the Occupational Safety and Health Administration on June 2 to report that the heat index in the warehouse had reached 102 degrees, and that 15 workers had collapsed. The employee also said workers who were sent home because of the heat received disciplinary points.Eight days later, the paper said, an emergency room doctor at a local hospital saw enough Amazon employees suffering from heat-related injuries to call OSHA and report “an unsafe environment.”So many ambulances responded to medical assistance calls at the warehouse during a heat wave in May, the paper said, that the retailer paid Cetronia Ambulance Corps to have paramedics and ambulances stationed outside the warehouse during several days of excess heat over the summer. About 15 people were taken to hospitals, while 20 or 30 more were treated right there, the ambulance chief told The Call.

          9. SubstrateUndertow

            “Look poor people know they are fucked. It’s not Trump, it’s banks, it’s tech people, it’s Hollywood elite, Media pundits.”So explain again how being manipulated by Trump’s emotional buzzsaw that completely shuts down the very frontal-cortex functions they will need to rely on in order to work some collaborative political tour-de-force solution is of benefit in confronting those elites ?

          10. PhilipSugar

            Your saying it shuts down the frontal-cortex, is the exact insult that makes them instinctively hate you. Hate is a strong word, but, yes they hate you. That is what people don’t get. They don’t hate me, I have the biggest and nicest house in the county. They say “he has cheddar” But they do hate you. Really hate.

          11. JamesHRH

            Just like paranoia isn’t wrong when everyone is out to get you, hating someone isn’t wrong when they hold beliefs that place them in a position of superiority.The ugly side of liberalism is that it is founded on a massive mountain of steaming self esteem BS.

          12. JamesHRH

            Wrong angle. Poor people aren’t stupid, they are just poor.When you voted Obama / Hope twice and things get worse, the correct strategy is to throw a wrench into the globalism deal and try to see if you can get in on the new trend that comes next.As explained by Chris Arnade (former Wall St type now doing derelict America photo journalism), poor people followed a time honoured Wall St strategy:- if a trade is killing you in the market, you do not try to get into the trade because it is way to late for you to profit from the things that make the trade a money maker.- i.e., for poor people that trade is the globalism trade and the things that you need to cash in on that trade are an Ivy League style college degree and verbal, analysis or high level relationship mgmt skill development- so, the answer is to wreck the globalism deal, so that you stop losing because the people who are winning on that deal have to start over again, putting you back on par with them (which beats losing)- Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Dad was a steelworker, she is literally the poster child for a poor person to look at and say ‘Shit, she’s killing it on that globalism deal and my kids & I will never catchup to her & Chelsea (what a clown show she is btw). Kudos to her and her parents, now let’s vote Trump and wreck that globalism trade.’

          13. PhilipSugar

            Exactly right. Globalism is great if you are elite. Look how cheap I can get clothes, shoes, and electronics. Where are they made? Where people literally live at a factory, work 12 hour days and go home only once a year.Now if you were working in a mill in TN and you lost your job it sucks.

          14. JamesHRH

            You are right about everything else but wrong about immigration.You do know that the merit based model Trump supports is used by that mean vicious country to the north, yes?

          15. SubstrateUndertow

            FEELINGS – That is the problem!Stirring up everyone’s emotional hot buttons so their frontal-cortex shuts down allowing them to be herded like panicked wildebeests is not the new political drone we are looking for.This is the new lowest common denominator FB-Tweeter political misuse tactic at work.The social/economic inequity problems at hand are very complex especially when superimposed upon an emergingnetwork-automated-AI economy.We need sober collaborative solutions driven by calm cooperative imaginative compromise not a mad house of empty headed protagonist pressing everyone’s emotional hot buttons for their own short term political opportunism.This game is over please exit !

          16. LE

            Where do you get ‘30%’ from? It’s much much higher than that I suspect.

          17. cavepainting

            His core base is around 25-30%. There is an additional 10-15% that is on the margins that are lukewarm supporters and more fluid and conditional in their support.This has been generally consistent in the polls through the campaign and the first year of Presidency.There is a real possibility that a significant majority hates him. ( his disapproval is between 55-60). Now if they vote in large enough numbers, that will translate to meaningful change.

          18. PhilipSugar

            Sorry, telling you from out here in the country, you are wrong. People like him more now.How did those polls work saying there was no way he could win turn out?Our (private) school let kids walk out for gun control. Number of kids “sick” that day??? More than 50%. Headmistress had to publicly apologize for letting politics into school. Board of Trustees was worried about re-enrollment the next year.

          19. LE

            The number of kids that walk out is meaningless. You have a situation with the max of peer pressure involved. Most kids are not going to go against peer pressure (look what happens on this blog even with adults).My stepdaughter said she was walking out to wit: ‘everyone else is and I don’t like the teacher that period so why not’. Plus they think they are all 60’s radicals.

          20. PhilipSugar

            No 50% of parents did not let their kids go to school.

          21. cavepainting

            Yeah, the issue is now politically tinged and divides people along their tribal affiliations. If the protest had just been about “the job to be done” – keeping students safe – without prescribing solutions, it might have been different.

          22. JamesHRH

            My daughter was fortunately ill that day.

          23. cavepainting

            Maybe you are right and he is loved more than before. Does that change the basics that what he is doing (on pretty much every front) is a) backward looking, b) does not address root causes, and is c) more style and pizzazz than substance, and d) will have both intended and unintended long term negative consequences?There are many countries where dictators and asshole heads of state are loved by large swathes of populations. They see them as tough, drink the kool-aid, and get brainwashed by propaganda.Does not make it right.Character, intellect, and humility are everything when it comes to making complicated decisions that affect a nation. Unlike what JLM thinks, these are not irrelevant. They are indeed the main things for leadership and often the only things that truly matter.How can you know good vs. bad if you can only see through a political lens? How do you make good decisions if you cannot peer through the eyes of multiple stakeholders including your opponents and more importantly, the next generation?We cannot be morally ambivalent and equivocate on things that are patently wrong with the defense that people love the chutzpah and “fuck you” attitude. Maybe I am elitist, but guess what, I can say fuck you too to people who I believe do not understand what they are doing and acting against their own self interests.

          24. Quantella Owens

            I hope you don’t mind if i interject a half penny here. I got so angry in this bar during my previous visits that for the most part I had to banish myself. I am only interjecting now to tell you that you are wasting your time/breath. It isn’t that you aren’t correct, because you are, it is that that is how they want it. Change only happens in two instances a) when the offending party wants it to or b) when the offending party is forced to do so.Changing how you think about “the others” who don’t look/act/think like you will not happen because you, Charlie and CJ explain things until you are purple. They will only happen when something “bad” happens to those who are currently in power, however they define it. The underlying construct has to be damaged before new comprehension can take place. Bubbles don’t pop….until they do. And the resultant comeuppance-or in this case, because the outcome is bound to be seen as a negative-come down is the only thing that might bring clarity.

          25. PhilipSugar

            You should very much understand I did not vote for or support Trump.I am explaining what behavior helped get him elected.If I could pretend for a minute he was not a groper (just one minute) and that was only the half of it (bragging, married woman, him married, stupidity of knowing it could be taped)He can’t stay on point for a single day which disqualifies you from being POTUS.And his staff turnover??? Best described as shit show.BUT. CNN helped him get elected. Seriously. They did.

          26. PhilipSugar

            Here is my point. If I were a running against Trump I would say:Look I understand why you voted for Trump.I hear your anger. I feel your pain (tongue in cheek Clinton reference).I realize you think Washington has gotten out of touch. I agree. I am committed to fair trade deals, I am committed to America first, I do not think that people that have the luxury of saying there should be no boundaries are out for you. I know you struggle, I know you work hard, and value those that do, and resent those that just use the system. Look many are just using a safety net, one that provides us a great society, but I understand, hear you and will work to make sure America becomes a great place for you again.But we MUST face the reality the world is a smaller place. That is not going to change. You can call, text, or email a person on the other side of the globe for free. Everybody has access to a supercomputer in their pocket. We need the best and the brightest to come here. That is why we are where we are. We also have to have some people that do the jobs that nobody else will. You know they work so hard at the really tough jobs: maids, landscaping, etc.But that does not mean we need to have wild flailing. You know that being the POTUS is a HUGE responsibility. It is not to be taken lightly. Yes Political Correctness has gotten out of control. Yes the elite scorn you and that has to change. I get that, but it does not mean we cannot be civil.Would you want a boss that flailed all over the place? No. You know that you want somebody that is going to have an even keel most of the time. Sure I’ll get angry sometimes, but I am not going to do it at your expense.

          27. LE

            You are speaking to clearly and coherently to persuade the masses imo.Do you think a speech such as you propose would work in Russia trying to get a large swatch to not vote for Putin? He is well supported there (and for sure hated) because people like that power thing he has going on. A tough guy. They like that. Nobody pushes around Russia. (You know you are 2nd rate when you think like that btw..) To a large extent there are people here who like that in Trump. They like the way he acts all brazen and fuck you. I think what works better maybe is someone who speaks like Chris Christie. Is not calm and doesn’t speak the kings english. But is real. Christie had it going prior to Trump. Down to the ‘fat like you are’. People like that. The weight helped him. The slovenly behavior helped him. Nobody wants a politician with a rod up their ass (appearance). They don’t respect that. You get respected where you are. But if you dressed with a bow tie like a college english professor probably not the same thing possibly. Look even at Steve Bannon. Unshaven rough and ready ‘my weapons’ but has a Harvard degree.You know why ‘power’ is important to ‘these’ people? Because they don’t get what they want by using words and brains. They are like the Italian sheep herders who have to have all this bravado (I have heard) to scare off people from taking their herd. So the ‘act’ works with them.Remember what you told me about the scouts and how they would drive you? Would a nicer approach have worked better? You liked the pain and punishment I think (same with Karate when I took it way back).

          28. PhilipSugar

            I don’t know if I liked the pain and punishment. But your point is well taken. If you are working in a manual job your boss probably is bold and brash and that is how you view power.

          29. JamesHRH

            Got what they asked for.

          30. SubstrateUndertow

            Just because many of us smell a rat in the inequities afoot it does not follow that Trump the billionaire is a 30-plus% working class hero !When the frontal-cortex-shutdown emotional-baboonery consequences come home to roost the true % will emerge.Populism usually fails in shot order for the same reason it succeeds over simplicity. Keep it as simple as possible but no simpler and all that.The problem of clearing out the so called elites is that they tend to have the educated skills we all rely on to maintain many of the important/complex social/economic function we all rely on.The real problem is that they also have the power to over assign themselves reward equity. Solving that is some what intractable without shooting our own foot off.Trump is just one example of that dilemma.

      2. SubstrateUndertow

        I’m not defending CNN’s faux balanced approach as it drive me crazy.Still they are try in their own pathetic audience pandering way.Trump did start the news hate fest as a emotional (shut down their frontal-cortex) electioneering tactic making it hard for them not to push back.

        1. Pete Griffiths

          I think this is pretty much what happened. CNN did indeed have an absurd “balanced” approach that took “both sides” seriously no matter how idiotic one side may be. I had a real problem with it. And to be honest they drove me crazy not calling out some of Trump’s bullshit earlier. But there was indeed a very clear phase where the mainstream media ( I don’t include shock jocks and Fox ) visibly transitioned into overt criticism. It was painfully obvious that they took it personally, feeling that their professional integrity (which they took seriously) was being impugned.

    2. OldManGoldenwords

      Maybe CNN just hates alternative facts and not Trump. Every media are engineered to fact check the politicians except for Fox & MSNBC. Every politician hates those media for pointing out facts which they dont like.

      1. PhilipSugar

        Hey old man Goldenturds. (yep, use an anonymous handle I can call you names) CNN Fact Checking? Nope. Not at all

        1. OldManGoldenwords

          P Sugar, Good job finding year old dirt on CNN. When brought to notice most media including CNN has corrected the error or fired them. If Trump was editor of CNN he would have never fired them. Give me single example where Trump has fired anyone in his administration for spining alternative facts. Instead he is busy spining new alternative facts everyday. Only people who get fired in his administration are those who don’t praise him or who don’t bring more TV ratings. This is what happens in most underworld countries like somalia, uganda etc. He is trying to made America Great by following the model of somalia, uganda etc?

          1. PhilipSugar

            You need to look into it further OldManGoldenTurds. See what the head of news said…..go back to covering Russia it gets us ratings.I think Trump is a shit show, see my posts. Turn people like he has?? Ugly.

          2. OldManGoldenwords

            You want CNN to have higher standard then the guy @ orange house?

          3. JamesHRH

            The point is that it used to be that way and Trump is just fighting fire with fire, which his supporters love.And, HRC supporters don’t see CNN as biased, only Fox, which, is offensive to the other 2/3 of the population.

          4. OldManGoldenwords

            Yeah 30% of supporters dig no matter what he does. Funny that Trump & his supporters want to talk only about HRC. Last election was 1.5 years ago. Trump supports don’t get offended all the bs crap he says but get offended by CNN lol. CNN doesn’t use tax payer’s $$$. They are free to do whatever works for their bottom line. Now free market republicans want regulation on things they don’t like. Trump has never cried about any bias in his entire life unless it hurts him. Infact he has used all existing biases to his advantage by gaming the system his entire life. Now only reason he is crying bias is it’s hurting his big ego. BTW I am not against party but against con artist and system gamers. CNN get is sometime wrong but they are exposing the con artist!

          5. JamesHRH

            Hmmm.Pretty fair comment.However, CNN is a media crack whore, lying to its audience about being objective and framing things to suit that agenda.Fred is correct that all MSM are shills now. There is no journalism being practised.You cannot avoid admitting that Trump is a genius system player, if you want to call him one.

          6. OldManGoldenwords

            If you consider all MSM are shills, one with least shillness shines which currently is CNN. Majority of independents (are those who consider themselves as independents) like CNN over any other media. That is why Trump cries everyday, as it hurts his ego badly just like crowd size at inauguration. I have never said Trump was not a genius system player. So was bernie madoff until he was escorted to jail.

          7. JamesHRH

            Factually incorrect. Bloomberg is by far the least shilly of the major new networks, because their audience has no ideological bias. They don’t pander to progressives, liberals, libertarians or conservatives – the talk about policies, markets and money.Stick around – there are a lot of people here who are nice enough to help you get on the good foot.

          8. OldManGoldenwords

            Yeah. All financial news media are less shilly then any news network. I never expected to be fact checked by Trump supporter.

          9. JamesHRH

            Your comment is an unappetizing combination of lazy and wrong.There are only 3 labels that matter in the world: selfish, cynical or mean.All the others say more about you than the person you label.I am not a Trump supporter, I think the guy is broken. But, I accept that fact that he is gifted & driven. He’s a combo of Jack Welch and a narcissistic 5 year old.And yet, he was a far better choice than HRC. The reasons people voted for him are in another comment on this page and they do not invoice race or naziasm or neo national whatever.FWIW – I fit the Winston Churchill saying ‘ If you are not liberal at 20 you have no heart; if you are not conservative at 50, you have no brain. ‘I also agree with the idea that hard left thought police political agendas are merely a form of control, with constant outrage as their cudgel and a disingenuous use of the word fairness as their lie: asking for fairness of opportunity is what is fair; asking for fairness of outcomes is being a loser.I never fell for that BS @ 20.At 50, I can see why its a poison.

          10. OldManGoldenwords

            It is hard to know online if one is real trump supporter or not. But you fit the prefect profile of Trump supporter who resort to name calling just like Trump does for anything which is not favorable to them. Once you do name calling rest of your comments are piece of junk to me. Still talking about HRC? Get a life.

          11. JamesHRH

            So, ‘Trump supporter’ is not a name / label?I can back up lazy and wrong, because, well, you called me a Trump supporter. That act was…..lazy and wrong.I am not ‘still talking about HRC’ I am explaining my belief that DJT was a valid choice for millions of Americans…..b/c HRC was the alternative.Millions of people went with him over her as a least offensive person to vote for………think about that for a while and then see if you agree with me that the Clintons are an ethics plague upon American democracy.People have called me a Trump supporter before because I try to look at the situation objectively.Labels are lazy.’Lazy’ isn’t name calling btw – its trait identification.

          12. OldManGoldenwords

            This conversation is OVER!

          13. JamesHRH

            You made some good points before I proved something to you that you did not want to hear.Next time, don’t quit and label me (or anyone else here, its a great place to hang out) because you are going through cognitive dissonance.Just take a break.Happens to everybody.Sorry to put a damper on your Friday, but quitting and labelling is what is poisoning society. I have a Zero Tolerance policy, not that it makes me friends… just improves the world * a smidgen * I hope.

          14. OldManGoldenwords

            label is still right. conversation is over bcus you cant get over HRC.

          15. JamesHRH

            I get that people can feel that way, but feelings aren’t reality.Hell, I posted on AVC in 2016 that the choice was odious – both narcissists, both unethical, ends justify the means types.Obama was arrogant and ineffective. Bush 43 never recovered from 9-11……rudderless.But, the Clintons and Trump are the same deal, just different flavours.I mean, we remember that Bill had sex with whomever was nearby too right?

          16. Donna Brewington White

            I’m convinced this is the same person from a few weeks ago that I went a couple of rounds with until I realized the futility.

          17. PhilipSugar

            Yes, you are right why engage a anonymous poster. I try to explain why Trump got elected, not whether he should have been elected.It confounds me that people don’t see why. I think that is part of the anger and flailing which is as bad as Trump.Bottom line is it was not the Russians or Fake News.

          18. Donna Brewington White

            You have the advantage of having access to people that many in the “elite” category do not.As someone who grew up near the Rust Belt, it makes perfect sense to me how Trump was elected. I may have escaped from that region to the West Coast as a young adult but I “get” them. Besides, I am not an elite. But I “get” them too. 🙂

    3. cavepainting

      Did you ever watch Fox when Obama was President?The country has loud, polarized extremes and there are newscasters “making hay while the sun shines” on both sides of the spectrum.On average, it is difficult to argue that CNN is more polarized than Fox or MSNBC.

      1. JamesHRH

        No, but Dems used to feel and may still feel that is was less so.

  2. Jon Smirl

    I have mixed feelings about this. If the repeal of Net Neutrality succeeds in significantly damaging streaming, then the anti-competitive aspects of this deal matter since it is almost certain to raise the cable bill for everyone subscribed to traditional cable.

    1. fredwilson

      I think consumers, particularly younger ones, are all in on streaming. If the carriers “damage streaming” there will be hell to pay, in the market and at the voting booth

      1. Jon Smirl

        Repeal of Net Neutrality gives the ISPs many tools for damaging streaming.Low bandwidth caps with insufficient room for videoPaid prioritization to keep the ISP from chucking video packets Zero rating their own offeringsRefusal to enter into peering agreementsI suspect will will see all of these from the ISPs.

        1. sigmaalgebra

          Okay, on net neutrality, whatever about the FCC, but what about the FTC?

      2. DJL

        Now you are sounding like a true capitalist! Let the market decide. If the true doomsday of Net Neutrality comes true (I doubt it) then it will create a huge opportunity for other delivery innovations.

        1. fredwilson

          yes, but it will be painful to do it that way. markets work but the dislocations suck. that’s why gov’t intervention (lightly done) can make sense.

  3. Paul Brown

    Fred: The Antitrust Division of the DOJ and the FTC are the most independent federal enforcement agencies out there. I practiced law on the other side of the table from them for many years and never saw them act politically. They simply aren’t set up to act in that way. I would be extremely shocked if Trump had any influence on them. So, while I can’t stand Trump, I think it’s highly, highly unlikely his dislike of CNN has anything to do with it.They get stuff wrong all the time, but not because someone in the administration tells them–or doesn’t tell them–to challenge a particular merger.

    1. DJL

      Don’t try to confuse people with the facts! They’ve already made up their minds.

    2. Richard

      Fred over reaches now and then, this is a now. The modern anti-trust framework was intiated by Obama. See, the American Antitrust Institite to learn more. This may be an areas where Trump and Obama agree ?

      1. fredwilson

        now and then? how about always? !!!!

        1. JamesHRH

          Love the pride in this comment.And the blasé approach to whether there is direct cause and effect to your statements…..too funny.

    3. Salt Shaker

      No doubt in the past the DOJ likely operated with autonomy and w/ out political motivation, as you say, though opinions and facts can frequently be colored by bias. Not sure one can draw that conclusion in today’s environment w/ a President who isn’t respectful of any boundaries, either personal or professional. Jeff Sessions correctly recused himself, but it’s hard to conclude he operates w/ full integrity or autonomy w/ a boss that perpetually and publicly threatens his survival and his performance. The notion the DOJ (and AG) currently operates w/ objectivity is questionable, and that’s because a President and Congress has undermined its mere existence. They created this perception, regardless if it is or isn’t fact based.

      1. PhilipSugar

        Frankly if Trump was behind this I give him a thumbs up on an otherwise shit show run.Way too many anti-competitive mergers. That started under HW Bush and has just accelerated. Regan would have sure as shit wanted this blocked.Look at what they have let banks do! (They is both sides)

        1. JamesHRH

          You know, they basically run 4 chartered banks in a country the size of California up north, no problems.A little more expensive, but way more stable, in the long run – check out their performance in late ’08.Competition is important – lots of competition is not.I think that is what healthcare needs – more competition. A 7.5ml bottle of Cipro based antibiotic eardops cost $305 last night at Walgreens.Not a typo – $305 for a one week liquid dose of a well established line of drug.

          1. JLM

            Go to help.rx – 75% discount.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      2. sigmaalgebra

        Byzantine legalistic contortions and endless traversal of complex bureaucratic rat holes may be necessarily the work or plight of lower level “deep state” worker bees, but the POTUS needs to keep his eye on what’s real, especially what’s important for US citizens and the US. Lawyers too often come to see “truth” as only legal truth, but few others and certainly not a POTUS have the freedom to fail to see truth more realistically.In particular, Trump’s leadership is partly to go to an aircraft hanger in one of the flyover states and talk reality. In that case, part of the job of POTUS is at times to turn on some bright lights, raise some intensity, make some blunt, impatient comments, kick some back sides, and at times make personnel changes. E.g., maybe the VA guy, for the good he’s done, started to get sloppy and needed a “correction”. Trump might be willing to make an example of him — don’t get sloppy.I haven’t found very good information on just what the story is about AG Sessons: (1) Maybe he is a wimp, timid, afraid of any controversy, go slow, let the status quo be good enough. Or, (2) he is cautious in the extreme, keeps his mouth tightly shut until he has solid evidence and is backed by polished reports from his lawyers, investigators, Inspector General, Office of Professional Responsibility, committees of Congress, public discussions, etc. so that he can’t be criticized as improper, partisan, sloppy, unprofessional, etc. (3) Since the AG serves at the pleasure of the POTUS, maybe he is as fully loyal to Trump as he can be and is slowly, day by day, one careful step after another, building a pile of rock solid evidence that will climax at just the fleeting moment of perfect effect for the November elections. Maybe.But, however careful AG Sessions should be, a big part of Trump’s job as POTUS is to “connect” with the US VOTERS in plain language, directly made points, about important reality.So, in this, if to some voters it appears that Sessions is not doing enough, it can be Trump’s job to Tweet a swift kick in the back side of Sessions, even if Trump knows that what Sessions is actually doing is just the right stuff.In particular, it would be dumb for both Sessions and Trump for Sessions to come off as another wildly sloppy Lynch or Holder. In particular, if Sessions is to lock up crooked H, someone about half of the voters voted for, then it is important that Sessions be seen as prudent, mature, careful, thorough, stable, objective, etc.Similarly for our Secretary of State: Tillerson, as good as he looked in many ways, and it’s sad that he didn’t just go and retire and spend his time with his grand kids like he wanted, maybe Rex just was too timid, too diplomatic, too cautious, etc. So, maybe Pompeo, first in his class at West Point, fast, good military career, good business success, good success getting elected to the House, good success on several committees important for US national security, apparently good and thorough at the CIA, and carefully taken some months to get himself ready for Secretary of State, will be more what Trump has in mind. Maybe.To make an omelet, have to break some eggs. Many are culled (called), and few are frozen (chosen). If Trump is at all successful, then he will necessarily have been exceptional in his results and, thus, no doubt, also in what and how he worked, his team, etc.Trump likely has a really good intuitive sense of what is fast enough, good enough, etc. and a lot of impatience with too slow and no good. Likely he still sees much of the work to be done in the WH as a dichotomy like he saw in NYC working on that skating rink, (A) the NYC political, bureaucratic way to do it, lasting years, wasting millions, and still not working versus (B) getting some people on the phone from Canada who knew how to do skating rinks (e.g., use hoses with salt brine and not little copper tubes with Freon), get them to NYC, plan the flow of the many dozens of concrete trucks, etc., and, presto, bingo, get it done “ahead of schedule and under budget”.Trump has been slowed by Congress, but apparently now he is getting done what he can but planning, how, week by week, by November he will get lots more seats in Congress, especially the Senate. E.g., maybe he wants the Mueller witch hunt to go down with humiliating defeat nicely in, say, October and not much before! Maybe about then he wants some Comey and McCabe indictments. Etc.Then with some more seats in the House and especially the Senate, presto, bingo, right away, fully funded and spreading east and west at many miles a day, “The Wall”; also tax cuts 2.0; the big infrastructure program, doing especially well in selected states and Congressional districts; merit immigration with “extreme vetting”; e-Verify; the end of ObamaCare and new laws enabling something “much better”; some big trade deals with lots of companies locating inside the US and lots of earnings of US companies returned to the US and invested in the growth protected by the new trade deals; the job training push in the poor parts of the central cities with new companies located there to provide the jobs; nuke-free Korea; a new Iran deal with nuke-free Iran; an ABM system that seems actually to work; other missile defense means; etc.Then in 2020, he can get the Republican party better organized and pull the Democrat party back to reality and out of the Pelosi-Sanders, etc. morass. Maybe.

    4. SubstrateUndertow

      You may be right but under the present political/propaganda, drama queen, clash machine environment being operated daily via presidential intimidation/retribution tweeting a healthy window of doubt seems more necessary than ever !Other players and institutional processes are buckling all around.

    5. JamesHRH

      What a damning defence of the quality of the civil service – they get stuff wrong all the time without a dumbass directive from on-high.Great post.

  4. Pointsandfigures

    These types of trials are interesting because it’s all about how you draw the lines. It happens in all kinds of industries. I invested in a startup in the beef industry. The company was forced to pay a crippling fine because the govt said it was vertically integrating, when it merely was shuffling paper. The US continues to use precedent, and regulation from the 1930s, or even 1990’s to regulate industry that is vastly changed from that time. The answer is to probably deregulate the entire thing for the most part and let market participants and innovators fight it out with consumers free to choose.

  5. jbrown

    Awesome list of “almost monopoly” players. The internet and open source can help level the playing field, but as others have pointed out, true net neutrality is essential to keeping competition real, not just a fantasy.

  6. Noah

    This is about communication infrastructure not about content. Talking about competition, many people in NYC can only get TWC broadband in their apartments (and if they are lucky maybe Verizon, which would qualify as a duopoly in that case)

    1. fredwilson

      TWC doesn’t own any cable assets. Sold them a long time ago. Called Spectrum now

      1. Noah

        you’re right, Fred. My bad

  7. David C. Baker

    As someone who is definitely NOT an apologist for Trump, and who appreciates the NYT and WaPo, I hate CNN, too. Fuck ’em. They’re as far from a reliable news source as there is in major media players in the US. I doubt Trump’s dislike of CNN has anything to do with this.

    1. fredwilson

      I’m with you. I hate all these news outlets. CNN, MSNBC, Fox, NY Times, WSJ. They all have huge biases and play to their audiences. The truth is found in hard to find places

      1. Richard

        I sure hope twitter (moments) doesn’t evolve into this. It’s a much more useful product than I expected it to be. Has anyone done an analysis on its bias?

      2. Richard

        Let’s not forget CNBC which has become a joke.

        1. SubstrateUndertow

          But you are ok with Fox are you?

          1. Richard

            I’m with Fred on this one, I do not consume any cable news programming. Video Journalism is not worth the bits it is transmitted on.

          2. SubstrateUndertow

            Sorry for the knee jerk 🙂

          3. PhilipSugar

            We agree again. The only thing it is useful for is a laugh. Flip between Fox and CNN. It is a knee slapper.I especially like flipping between Rachel Maddow and Sean Hannity. Just for five minutes during commercial break of Discovery or others I watch for an hour to wind down for bed. I mean it will make you cry it’s so funny. Somebody should make a video of them talking about the same issue.

      3. LE

        They all have huge biases and play to their audiences.The need to put ‘coin in the pocket’ is what drives all of this.Interesting to point out that this is the downside of competition. [1]For news outlets the increase in places to get news has led to the same every man for himself thinking. They are all competing for the same ad dollars. Not the same as when there was no cable and only 3 networks (golden age).[1] Sure competition can lead to lower prices (airlines as an example) but then those lower prices lead to ‘every man for himself’ and shitty service.

        1. cavepainting

          Cable news is the media equivalent of gerrymandering. Pick the Audience first and Make the News for Them.

          1. Salt Shaker

            These networks are for profit businesses. They derive their editorial strategies and policies based on demographic (and psychographic) analysis and their ability to monetize against those audiences. How/why do you think Ailes created Fox News? He found gaps and a large unaddressed audience. He sized the market and saw its potential both philosophically AND financially. Network news does provide a public service, but they’re not operating in a vacuum. If they don’t make money, they don’t exist. This isn’t PBS. Audience size and composition prob trumps editorial strategy, certainly for strategic planners who do the initial modeling.

          2. SubstrateUndertow

            More epistemologically demanding audiences would garner better network news products ?ORMore epistemologically effective journalism could educate us to enjoying more meaningful information with fidelity ?Chickens? Eggs? anyone

          3. ShanaC

            you could say that about any content, because advertisers

          4. cavepainting

            Focusing on a certain genre of content catering to a specific type of audience advertisers are interested in (women18-34, millennials, Male 25-44) not same as making up or spinning the news to a specific political audience. Latter means you are generating falsehoods that your political overlord expects vs. stating facts or even opinions of independent individuals.

      4. cavepainting

        It may feel like we are establishing moral equivalence to paint them all with the same brush.But that is simply not true. Some are much worse than the others.

        1. JamesHRH

          Anytime a cable channel talk money, its usually ok.Some of it is infotainment, but when Bloomberg does politics, its solid (same typically of WSJ).

      5. sigmaalgebra

        Old observation: “The news is always the same. Only the names change.”Now at YouTube are a lot of old movies; the ones from 1936 or so can have okay video quality. Several of those movies are about newspapers, and standard in nearly all of them is that the papers publish lots of just junk and trash. And that’s not the beginning of it since there is also the quote by Jefferson. And we know about fake news from the movie Citizen Kane and the famous, IIRC, “You supply the pictures, and I’ll supply the war.”.Since I want to be informed, I pay attention to the news. I’ve decided slowly to accumulate some choice quotes: When a news source or commentator says something totally brain dead, I keep a copy and index it with good references. Two or three of such for a person or source, and I will feel justified in ignoring them and, occasionally on blogs, excoriating them, with references, in public.At times, for relaxation or when eating meals, it’s more fun just to go to one of the James Simons Web sites and follow links there to some video clips with relatively little politics and relatively good science and/or applied math. E.g., yesterday from a conference in, IIRC, Berlin, IIRC, computer science guy Hopcroft was talking classification via cutting planes and mentioned adding dimensions. He wasn’t very clear, and maybe his example was wrong, but there is a point there: E.g., if have some data on variables y and x_1, x_2, …, x_5 and want somehow to build a little algebraic model that for more x data can predict the corresponding y data, then, sure, just use old linear regression — the computer people now call “machine learning”. Okay. But long ago it was clear that in addition to x_1, …, x_5 as independent variables, since had the data, could also use as independent variables darned near any functions of x_1, …, x_5 wanted, e.g., exp(x_1 – x_2), x_3^2, sin(x_4), on and on. So, for the cutting plane work, sure, could do the same, that is, construct more independent variables and look for classification cutting planes using more dimensions. With no theory at all, there are cases were some such is just terrific; IIRC, some such was great for separating seismic signals of earth quakes from underground nuke tests.Then, can look at Niel Turok lectures!!! He’s selling, but he has some points! Sure, if take the Fourier series or the Fourier transform of a function that is approximately a spike, then will get essentially a flat power spectrum, that is, power about the same at all the frequencies, and this holds more strongly for sharper spikes. So, Turok says that the Fourier transform of some of the 3 K spacial data shows such a flat power spectrum. So, presto, bingo, get to have a hint that the data came from a spike, that is, one instant, that is, the big bang was all at some one instance, a spike. It appears that that’s what he’s saying!That’s more fun than the news!But why is the news so ugly? One reason is that politics is a war, is fighting by relatively non-violent means, at the ballot box and before that via propaganda. And what’s the war about? Biggie things: Income redistribution, a new version of slave labor, war and peace, economic boom and bust, power in many forms, dirty dealing, economic advantage, gender roles, the power elites, etc. So, it’s bitter fighting.So, why don’t the newsies just report the clear facts, settle lots of the issues, etc.? (1) The clear facts tend to make boring reading and upset people who don’t like the facts. (2) The newsies still believe in the primacy of old formula fiction with a protagonist fighting against evil. (3) Each day the newsies need plenty of content to get the eyeballs for the ads; they are short on good content; if they take an important issue, give lots of solid facts, and settle the issue, then they also end the potential of more content on that subject. They much prefer to dribble out a little more content each day, for months. (4) As in the old movies (which have some credibility and relevance because apparently the audiences were prepared to believe that the junk was close to the truth) and back to Jefferson, the whole culture of the news rooms, the papers, the newsies, the news, etc. is sloppy nonsense, low grade garbage, never over research an issue, grab the readers by the heart, the gut, below the belt, always below the shoulders and never between the ears, right at the border line of what is illegal, etc. But at times, the newsies are about the only source of information just crucial for our democracy. In the meanwhile, readers need to regard nearly all the news as just junk, at best light entertainment, and hopefully not very harmful.For me, the NYT on paper can’t compete with Charmin, on the Internet is useless for wrapping dead fish heads, and is relatively harmless as long as it’s ignored. But the Internet is permitting an explosion of new sources, likely of wide variety on all aspects.For now, IMHO a big mistake is Schumer: He should get with Trump. They can have a lot in common. Trump is a middle of the road, pragmatic guy, didn’t like W, and is not really a “conservative”. Schumer is a bright guy and no doubt about as eager to upchuck at Pelosi, Obama, and Sanders as I am. Next Ryan and McConnell need to quit sucking up to anyone ready to write a five figure check for a campaign donation and, instead, get with Trump. And what will Trump, Schumer, …, do with their unity? Here’s the secret, hidden agenda that will win — MAGA. Not a joke; basically Trump is fully correct: Put America first and see the results in standard of living, family formation, less anxiety, more emotional and financial security, better education, more innovation, less poverty and crime, more upward mobility, better distribution of wealth, better national security, less political fighting, etc. Then everyone on the Trump Train will have no trouble winning elections. As it is, Trump will slowly just defeat Pelosi, …, and even Schumer. Schumer doesn’t have to lose; instead he can work with Trump and, along with nearly everyone else, win.

      6. Salt Shaker

        Of course they have huge biases and play to their audiences. Even when there was only 3 TV networks news content was driven by demographics, ratings, etc., though there was a perception the network news division was sacrosanct and beyond reproach. It’s how all media businesses have historically been modeled. What’s changed is an instantaneous news cycle, driven by the internet, that has mortgaged journalistic standards and integrity for practically everyone participating. The NYT used to update its internet content just once a day not too long ago. To remain competitive they can’t afford to operate that way any more; sometimes facts be damned or their edit is written in a way they can weasel if subsequently called to the carpet. I read the NYT, WSJ and watch CNN, FOX and the network news and draw my own conclusions. What each outlet chooses to cover, and how they cover it, does vary considerably (and almost comically). They have filters and prisms, and so do I. Exposure begets knowledge.

      7. jason wright

        it’s pay to play. whomsoever pays for advertising with these outlets gets to play the game of influencing their news agenda. Advertisers (corporations and their lobbyists) own the news agenda. The BBC has a different funding model, but through the controlling influence of government corporations still get to push their vested interests through the news agenda. It’s just packaged in a different and more subtle way. The outcome is the same.e.g. car television advertising is a classic example of how an industry ‘owns’ media outlets. The news agenda goes soft on the wholly negative impact the car has on our health and our environment. It’s an evil process.Cynthia Nixon! I can’t stand nepotism. Cuomo should be barred from standing.

      8. SubstrateUndertow

        They are all epistemologically brain dead but in an open market the consumers gets the epistemological reporting quality they deserve!Just as an example:All the news outlets go on and on about whether FB failed to properly protect used data and that Cambridge Analytica has not actually broken any laws.They all but trip over the obvious core attributal process-failing at hand without managing to pin it down. That being the failure of the citizens and their government to recognize, prioritize and deal with the fact that our abstract-property-rights (owning and controlling our personal datasets) is quickly becoming as important in a network-effect information environment as are our more obvious physical-property-rights.Our slow collective recognition/priortization of personal-dataset abstract-property-rights seems strange in light of the fact that well financed corporate profit machines have treated these abstract-property-rights as sacrosanct core IP value for decades.Thought experiment:Imaging we come up with a technology that could capture your complete internal thought processes and memory dataset to be used for mental health and personal cognitive/AI integration power.Would we consider such personal-datasets sacrosanct enough to quickly pass abstract-property-rights (owning and controlling our personal datasets) as seriously as we presently do for physical-property-rights? Would we even consider letting FB own and operate access to those personal-datasets ?In fact the personal-datasets FB presently controls are just as crucial moving forward.Nothing is more fundamental to free-agency in a market based society than rule-of-law personal-property-rights and in our emerging world of abstract-object based wealth/power that means legislating abstract-property-rights with real teeth.The fact that major journalist/new-outlets seem unable to immediately home in on this as the core issue at the heart of the FB-data controversy is testimony to our collective difficulty in transitioning to memes that help us collaboratively master/visualize our new abstract-objects/processes based operation environment.We cannot afford to wait around for late to the party legislative solutions.Giddy-up Internet 3.0 !!!

        1. Michael Elling

          Most of the risk (and cost) of the internet is pushed to the edge, while value accrues geometrically at the core. And they (both sides in the debate; not the end users, rather the content and access providers) continue to push the mirage of “free” even as access costs mount, digital and wealth divides grow, our society polarizes and ossifies. It’s time to rethink settlement systems throughout our socio-economic frameworks; but we can start with gigabit access and sensor networks. Read more on equilibrism, an alternative to privacy stealing advertising and a solution to net neutrality (and universal service) in one fell swoop:

      9. JamesHRH

        I am glad to hear this – Holy Cow has CNN ever sold out.FB is eating the MSM lunches so bad that they are turning into strung out media crack whores who will do almost anything to get their next hit.The idea that Jake Tapper gets feted @ an Ivy League U is just bile inducing.Where the hell would you send an 18 year old to college, unless they were taking hard truth majors like engineering?

      10. ShanaC

        so where do you think has good news these days

  8. Mario Cantin

    I’m surprised the comments weren’t disabled due to the political nature of today’s post. Sorry, had to come out of lurking just to say that 🙂

    1. jason wright

      ha ha. there’s a truism in that observation.

    2. DJL

      Echo-chamber Touche’.

    3. fredwilson

      Shit. I forgot to do that . Too late now. I will not take down content unless it violates the comment policy

      1. LE

        Why?Maybe a better idea would be to not egg people on by saying things like this:Like most of the things that come out of this administration, this is a joke….and thisTrump’s Justice DepartmentMany regulars make comments. And if you turn off comments for ‘political’ posts (rather than just delete egregious violations of polite conversation) you are appearing to be the same as some of the outlets that you detest.Edit: Forgot the best one:All because our loser President hates CNN.

        1. fredwilson

          because this is my blog. it is me. it is not trying to be anything other than that. this is me being me.

          1. Lawrence Brass

            Understanding everything about the ownership of this place, the day of the closure was a sad day for me. Not because I had anything to say and couldn’t do here, it just felt odd.

          2. jason wright

            a “me” blog? gulp. the implications of that are disheartening.choosing when to have and when not to have commenting enabled weakens the ‘open’ credentials of this space imo. it’s a mistake.’Internet Me’? Forget it.

          3. Donna Brewington White

            You being you has been part a large part of the beauty of AVC. But so has your bravery in allowing space for people to disagree with you. Which is one of the reasons it felt more like a community than a platform.I understand that things change. I understand that we have lost some of that sense of community — particularly in the current political climate. But not entirely.

          4. JamesHRH

            Well, come on then, let us be us.Party pooper.

    4. Donna Brewington White

      How would you have felt if Fred had disabled comments on this post?(Understanding, of course, that it is his blog and he can do what he wants.)

      1. Mario Cantin

        Personally, I would’ve had no issues with it. It could be the fact that I’m not currently engaged and only have the time to read for now, but as you’ve said, his blog, his rules and I’m happy with that.

  9. Tom Labus

    The twisted logic of the deranged. The GOP leadership has found a giant hole to stick their collective heads in. Even the R’s eventually turned on Nixon.

  10. sigmaalgebra

    ForLike most of the things that come out of this administration, this is a joke.Is there some data to support this claim?Let’s see:(1) Taxes. A nice tax cut got passed, and a 2.0 version is in the works.(2) Comey and McCabe got booted — lucky they were not publicly “perp walked” in cuffs. They may still face criminal charges.(3) James “Mad Dog” Mattis as Sec Def — great choice with good results, e.g., against ISIS.(4) Boot ISIS out of 98% of their territory in Syria and Iraq. Got the Iraqs to do the fighting with training, leadership, and air support from the US. Good work Sec . Mattis.(5) Got NATO to pay their fair share.(6) Responded very well to the hurricanes in Texas and Louisiana.(7) Got the Dakota pipelines going. US is now close to pumping the most barrels of oil per day of any country, competitive with Russia and Saudi Arabia.(8) Got the US out of the wacko, flim-flam, international circular firing squad, fraud, brain-dead, mass hysteria neurotic, irrational, self-destructive, new earth worship, rip-off Paris Accords.(9) Stopped the nonsense that had the EPA declare that any puddle on a farm was a case of protected wetland wildlife habitat.(10) Got started on “the wall” to let us enforce our long standing laws, policies, and procedures on immigration.(11) Went after MS-13 “bigly”.(12) Got the GDP growth rate and the stock market indices up.(13) Got Gorsuch on the SCOTUS and got lots of good appointments in the lower courts.(14) Had well received trips to Europe, the Mideast, and Asia.(15) Got the US started on reducing our international trade deficit.(16) Showed that the biggest “joke” in DC is the Mueller witch hunt.(17) Showed that the biggest “joke” in the country is the made up, stirred up, cooked up, gang up, pile on, Goebbles style propaganda of the fake news, anti-Trump mainstream media — CNN, MSNBC, NYT, WaPo, Politico, Huffington Post, etc.(18) Put about three US aircraft carrier battle groups near North Korea, had exercises over South Korea with the South Korean forces and US B-1s, etc. Result: No more missile launches or bomb tests from Ding Dung Dong Little Rocket Boy in Ping Pong Yang.(19) Got sanctions, blockades, etc. in place to let Little Rocket Boy get the message, and now the face to face meeting is to be in Helsinki.(20) Moving the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Also just had a good meeting of the Arab Gulf States, Israel, and the US to get going on the engineering for a water system for Gaza.(21) Taught Assad a lesson, that has lasted, about use of chemical weapons.(22) O treated England and Israel like dirt; Trump corrected this bigly.(23) Got US coal going again.(24) Got US steel plants opening.(25) Apple now starting to make their screens in the US instead of buying from China.(26) Got Chrysler to move a plant from Mexico to Detroit saying “Mexico was a mistake.”.(27) Correcting the outrageously illegal, dangerous “sanctuary” cities instances.(28) Got the US anti-ballistic missile efforts going in high gear, e.g., as one layer of protection against the wackos Little Rocket Boy and Ayatollah Kockamamie.(29) Got rid of the ObamaCare “mandate”.(30) Had 100% victory over two years of attacks, 24 x 7, of the anti-Trump efforts, the crooked Hillary efforts, the fake news CNN, …, NYT efforts to find dirt on Trump. Since they have found nothing at all solid that is more significant than something about two scoops of ice cream, Trump has gotten a squeaky clean bill of health. The same efforts for O would have turned up smoking funny stuff, questionable academic credentials, buddies like Bill Ayers and Rev. Wright, the intention to have US electric rates “skyrocket”, etc. The same thing for Hillary would have had her in jail by now.Indeed, there was significant collusion with Russia to influence our 11/2016 election — by Hillary and the DNC via the cooked up Dossier. Then O and Hillary supporters in the DOJ and FBI used that Dossier to get a FISA warrant, several times, to spy on Carter Page and also, in effect, the whole Trump campaign. And O WH staffers made illegal use of NSA data to spy on Trump.Net: Trump is clean. O and Hillary and their buddies are dirty.Ah, in much of Democrat NYC, what do the facts matter? All that matters are emotions, especially fitting in as a loyal member of the NYC, Democrat tribe???If the Democrats had solid facts against Trump, then we would have learned about them, nearly hourly. Since they don’t have any such facts, the Democrats just make up stuff and then pass it out to their media buddies for gang up and pile on. Apparently the Democrats have learned from Goebbels, IIRC, “If you tell a lie often enough, people will believe it. Even you will come to believe it.”.I’m for Trump. So far it looks like I’m right. But I don’t want to be wrong. So, if there is solid dirt about Trump, then I’m all ears. So far, for the past two years, I’ve heard nothing at all meaningful.For the Democrats, we have Chucky “Flowing tears” Schumer leading his intrepid troops of Naaaaasty Nancy, “The San Francisco Treat”, Maxine “Impeach Trump now” Waters, Kirsten “Fuck No!” Gillibrand, Elizabeth “Cherokee Fauxahontas” Warren, Madonna “I’ve thought an awful lot about …” (cute hat there, Madonna) making mostly non-violent civil war against Trump and the Republicans, obstructing nearly always.But, Chucky, let’s be forthcoming and candid now: Responding to Little “reduce American cities to radioactive cinders” Rocket Boy and Ayatollah “Death to America” Kockamamie, and his buddy Ama-Dina-Nut-Job, who would you want? And the candidates are, Obozo “smoking funny stuff”, Crooked H, Bill “Lover boy”, W “The Iraqi people are perfectly capable of governing themselves”, and The Donald. And, may I have the envelope please. [drum roll] …???

    1. DJL

      Oh, but wait, all he does is sit around and grope people while drinking Diet Coke. All this was done by someone else (or better yet, it is not really happening.). I promise, I read it in the New York Times from reliable anonymous sources in the Democrat donor base.

    2. John Revay

      Can’t wait for your man Donny John to be perped walked out of the big white house in DC in hand cuffs

      1. sigmaalgebra

        I want to know? On what charge? With what evidence? That’s what Mika and Joe do — lots of accusations and next to nothing in meaningful evidence.

      2. DJL

        That is nice fantasy but not going to happen. So far no evidence has been found – except that HRC colluded with Russia to sell 20% of our Uranium.

  11. Koslow

    Well, in terms of entrenched forms of delivery, it is anti trust. For wired internet delivery to your home you only have two options. One LEC and One MSO.TWC is a MSO, ATT is a LEC. So for internet delivery at your home they’d be your only options in some areas.Comcast MSOTWC MSOCox MSOMediacom MSOCharter LECATT LECCenturylink LECFrontier LEC

    1. fredwilson

      TWC owns no cable. Sold that a while back. Now called Spectrum

      1. JamesHRH

        DO you think that slow death of Google Fiber is pushing this case?

  12. LE

    If it is true that the Justice Department is pursuing this because of Trump it will be an easy case for the other side to win. The reason is if the attorneys who work for Justice don’t have their heart in it they will simply not put in the effort to the same degree that they would if they did. That’s human nature. Winning takes more than just showing up. While they for sure don’t want to lose (regardless of the task) there is no way the effort would be the same creatively if they are being pushed (as is alleged) to do this. The same thing happens in reverse as well. Government attorneys (typically not fair prior to this administration) get in their head that they need to do something and then follow it to the ends of the earth never admitting mistakes and even when they are told not to do so. (Bobby Kennedy against the mob..)

  13. DJL

    I generally do not like the government getting involved in business. And on this issue I agree with you. Some other notes:”A waste of taxpayers money.” – There can be no bigger waste of our money than the ongoing “investigation” into Russian collusion. The entire investigation has been proven to be bogus and essentially bought by his political opposition. A bunch of sleazebag lawyers making millions with an unending investigation. I would like that gig.”All because our loser President hates CNN.” – Well, if a supposed “news” network makes it their entire editorial focus to destroy a sitting President, then maybe they deserve what they get. Does any one of these idiots than run CNN or the New York Times understand the impact of what they are doing? They are so driven by hate and resentment at losing that they have collectively lost all sense of decency.If CNN were not automatically turned on at airports and hotels their total viewership would be about 10.

  14. jason wright

    the activist investor.

  15. Peter Radizeski

    This trial is about vertical integration. AT&T owns the #2 cellco and is a large ISP and MSO. It wants to own a lot of content. Typically this type of integration is frowned upon because as you see from the cell side, they prioritize their own content over others.And yes Comcast owns NBCU so it would seem the fed has set precedent.

    1. fredwilson

      Consumers have unbundled with streaming and over the top. Matters a LOT less now That is what this trial will be about

      1. Peter Radizeski

        If that argument would hold water against the Telecom Act of 1996, maybe. Traditional cable companies have been treated differently than ILECs under that act. And it has not been re-done to catch up to 2018

  16. Lawrence Brass

    Fred, what do you think about the Broadcom/Qualcomm merger block on the grounds of national security?Not a Trump fan here, but i think that the US government and Qualcomm’s lobby were right on that.

  17. jason wright

    people who consume mass media content deserve their fate.

    1. Lawrence Brass

      do you mean this belly?i am working on it!

      1. jason wright

        sell your telly!

  18. jason wright…What’s good for the goose……and in what way is it Trumps’ Justice Department?

  19. PhilipSugar

    I will just say this. We have let anti-competitive mergers go way to far.As a child I remember when my Dad who was head of M&A for Sunoco was blocked from buying Conoco. Same for Autotote and Amtote Any body remember those???Administration: Regan.Now we have Exxon/Mobil etc, etc. DOJ went after Microsoft.We can discuss the shit show of the Trump administration. But the DOJ should look into this.

    1. sigmaalgebra

      > the shit show of the Trump administration. But the DOJ should look into this.Are you just pushing that out there as a “shit show” or do you actually have some solid examples with credible references, etc.?I’m supporting Trump; so far it appears that I’m right; but I don’t want to be wrong. I see no evidence that the Trump is running a “shit show”. Buf if you actually have some solid information, then I’m all ears.

    2. JamesHRH

      Why am I not surprised that your Pops had that type of gig?

      1. Donna Brewington White


      2. PhilipSugar

        He also was in charge of buying oil fields. He ran some serious models on the IBM 360 Saturday mornings at 5am when it wasn’t busy. I was in charge of carrying the punch cards my mother had printed (we had a punch card machine in the house and she was a NASA trained mathematician that used to check his work and type the cards) Then we went to the farmers market. I dropped a box only once. He was pissed.

        1. JamesHRH

          SHUT THE FRONT DOOR.@donnawhite:disqus @JLM:disqus @fredwilson:disqus @le_on_avc:disqus @wmoug:disqusDid you know this?I did the punch card thing – Fortran – in Jr HS.

  20. creative group

    CONTRIBUTORS:people fail to differentiate between Political Commentators and Journalist.Example:Sean Patrick Hannity non Journalist resume that created a conspiracy cult following:Hannity promotes falsehoods and conspiracy theories.Casted doubt on Barack Obama’s birthplace, promoted conspiracy theories about the murder of Seth Rich, and reported false stories about Hillary Clinton’s health.(Definitely not a journalist and Hannity stated he never claimed to be a Journalist)…Rachel Maddow is a Political Commenter with an educational background that towers over many Right & Alt-Right conservatives. (She holds a doctorate in politics from the University of Oxford)Both examples show that both have extreme followings that are usually consumed by their political leaning bases.We don’t subscribe to either extreme but acknowledge there is a huge difference.Captain Obvious!#UnequivocallyUnapologeticallyIndependent

  21. Fred is an angry sore loser

    You must NOT publicly disparage the president of the USA . Look, I did not vote for President Donald Trump. I am convinced President Donald Trump is unsuitable for office. Criticize him? Sure. Desparage. Nope.John Wayne famously said about President John F. Kennedy after the 1960 election, “I didn’t vote for him, but he’s my President, and I hope he does a good job.” Grow up Fred. Stop acting like a petulant child. Noone likes a sore and nasty loser.Besides, why would you think this is a joke? Frankly, this seems like a reasonable lawsuit to me. The DOJ does not belong to President Donald Trump. President Donald Trump is President of the USA. He is not a dictator. We actually do have laws in this country, some of which are enforced. I am unfamiliar with the details of the case but I would guess the DOJ will win this lawsuit.You seem bitter and angry. Maybe it is time for you to retire.

    1. sigmaalgebra

      > I am convinced President Donald Trump is unsuitable for office.Since I don’t want to miss something important, I very much want to hear your reasoning for your conclusion.

  22. Sudha Lakshmi

    I’m by no means a fan of this administration, but I wouldn’t really blame them for this. The problem is that American antitrust — or at any rate the way the doctrine has evolved over time in this country — is unsuited to deal with the type of market dominance that arises primarily from network effects.Market dominance alone is not a problem under US antitrust law, even when it’s significant enough to stifle competition. It’s only when the consumer is affected by this — and that too simply in terms of facing higher prices — that antitrust really kicks in. The case that a consumer might have to pay higher prices is a lot easier to make about the AT&T – Time Warner merger than it is about Netflix or Amazon, which have if anything brought prices down, or Google and FB, which are for the most part free to users (at least in $ terms).Here’s a terrific paper by Lina Khan, who notes that antitrust doctrine in the US was not always understood so narrowly. https://www.yalelawjournal….

    1. PhilipSugar

      Great paper. Shows I was wrong, Reagan did change it. I had forgotten Robert Bork.

  23. Cyberats

    It is what anti-trust, anti-monopoly laws are setup for.A merger between AT&T and Time Warner would leave the competition with close to no market shares, Verizon & FIOS being the last stand at 3x the retail price.Are we going to wait till Globocorp is the only company for Everything in the world ???By then it’s too late.