Former FCC commissioner Michael O'Rielly is joining The Media Institute as a senior fellow starting April 1.
He will also be a member of the institute's First Amendment Advisory Council. The second post is particularly appropriate since O'Rielly's defense of the First Amendment, in a speech to the Institute, arguably cost him his job on the commission.
O'Rielly was re-nominated by President Trump for an extended (five-year) hitch but that nomination was withdrawn after a speech to The Media Institute in which O'Rielly questioned the President's efforts to regulate speech on social media platforms.
In that speech, O'Rielly talked about ‘purveyors of First Amendment gibberish … demeaning the values of the Constitution.’ He later told Multichannel News that was not meant to target any one person or group, but instead it was about "highlighting the importance of the First Amendment, which is paramount to me, and how it can’t be ignored whether other statutory provisions come or go."
O’Rielly is already a visiting fellow at the Hudson Institute’s Center for the Economics of the Internet and has hung out his own consulting shingle, MPORielly Consulting, LLC.
“Michael O’Rielly shares the same values we hold dear: sound communications policy, a competitive media industry, and a strong First Amendment,” said Institute president Richard Kaplar in a statement.
"Hopefully, my record shows that I welcome the opportunity, even when not easy or popular, to push back against anyone seeking to denigrate, malign, or infringe upon our cherished rights preserved by the U.S. Constitution," said O'Rielly.
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Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.