I Apologize To CTIA/CEA For Needless and Counterproductive Snark

As occasionally happens from time to time (indeed, as some might say, more than occasionally), I get worked up about an issue or — even worse — fall in love with my own cleverness and snark and say things that I regret on reflection and need to publicly apologize. Ideally, of course, I would avoid saying such things in the first place and I do not pretend that an after the fact apology somehow makes everything all better. When it does happen, however, the honorable thing to do is make the apology and correction and take my public drubbing.

Which brings me to yesterday’s post about the CTIA/CEA Report projecting $33 bn in revenue from incentive auctions. I stand by my criticism of the report. They do not address how many stations in the top markets need to participate to reclaim the 120 MHz of broadcast spectrum on which they base their estimate and their projected payout to broadcasters is, in my opinion at least, far too low to induce any broadcasters to participate. However, it was needlessly snarky and counterproductive to refer to this as an “infomercial” or otherwise imply deceptive tactics. As I’ve said myself on a number of occasions, we have better and more productive policy debates when we stay focused on the merits and avoid gratuitous insult. That doesn’t mean being all sweetness and light or unduly dry (Lord knows this stuff is dry enough already). But it does mean exercising some restraint and remaining within the bounds of reasonable debate.

As readers know, I dance pretty close to those bounds on a regular basis. That imposes a responsibility to publicly apologize when I cross over it. My apologies to CTIA and CEA, and I have edited the offending post to reflect this.

Stay tuned . . . .

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