Verizon VP jokes at planting a 'brainwashed' FCC chairman, Ajit Pai says 'awesome'

Ajit Pai - Getty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Update: When CNET asked Verizon to comment on the skit, which poked fun at the very real concern that Pai's history with big telecoms like Verizon influenced his decision to reverse the FCC's net neutrality position, Chief Communications Officer Jim Gerace said: "We never knew Kathy was so funny." When asked by Gizmodo whether Verizon played a part in writing the script, he replied "I really have nothing more to say about it." Meanwhile, 

Earlier this week the FCC held a gathering similar to the White House Correspondents Dinner called the Federal Communications Bar Association, where the FCC and major telecom companies gather, have dinner, and mingle. FCC chairman Ajit Pai went on stage to talk about the future, as well as make jokes about the industry and himself.

As if suggesting net neutrality hurts the sick and disabled wasn't enough, Pai throws out lines such as, "in collusion—I mean, in conclusion, sorry, my bad—many people are still shell shocked that I'm up here tonight. They ask themselves, how on earth did this happen?"

But the jokes didn't end there. Later on in his speech, Pai plays a video skit of a time when he was still employed by Verizon in 2003. In the video, Verizon senior VP and deputy general counsel Kathy Grillo, sits down with Pai to discuss "capturing" the FCC.

"We want to brainwash and groom a Verizon puppet to install as FCC chairman," Grillo says to Pai.

Pai responds by saying "that sounds awesome."

Grillo then says that the process would take 14 years, which lands us directly into 2017—where Pai is actually in the process of dismantling net neutrality.

"We need to find someone, smart, young, ambitious but dorky enough to throw the scent off," Grillo tells Pai.

"Hello," Pai responds, suggesting he's the obvious candidate.

Grillo then tells Pai that Verizon needs to find another puppet that's a Republican and can win the presidency in 2016. Both sit back and think about the situation while a video of Donald Trump plays in the background.

Watch Pai's entire speech on Gizmodo.

Tuan Nguyen
Tuan is the Editor-in-Chief of Maximum PC, and loves all things tech. He's been building PCs and ruffling feathers in the industry for 20 years, and isn't afraid to call out bad products and services. In fact, it's very common to hear the words "this is shit" escape his lips. If you want to know if something is "Kick-Ass" or not, email or tweet him.