The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) kicks off in Las Vegas this weekend, bringing with the promise of shiny gadgets, upcoming consumer tech and drool-worthy concept gizmos.
Unfortunately, it’s with a heavy heart, we have to reveal that one of the show’s scheduled highlights will not make an appearance. No, we’re not talking about a new smartphone or fitness band.
We’re referring to the fact that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman, Ajit Pai, who was supposed to appear on a discussion panel, won’t be there. Well, boo.
Pai was slated to appear on an open panel with acting Federal Trade Commission (FTC) chairwoman, Maureen Ohlhausen, and Consumer Technology Association CEO Gary Shapiro. However, according to a report on the AV Club, Pai has pulled out, marking the first time he won’t be attending CES in five years – and the first since he helmed the FCC.
The FCC has given no reason for this cancellation, instead opting to punch out a brief email saying, “Unfortunately, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai is unable to attend CES 2018. We look forward to our next opportunity to host a technology policy discussion with him before a public audience.”
It’s not beyond the realm of possibility, though, that the cancellation may have been due in part to the FCC’s decision to kill net neutrality last year and the subsequent outrage it caused – helped in no small part by Pai’s decision to be a condescending pillock to his detractors ahead of the vote.
It’s likely Pai realised that an open panel – even one hosted by fellow net neutrality critic, Gary Shapiro – in front of a room of angry nerds who want to make him eat his stupid oversized coffee mug wouldn’t be the most comfortable experience of his life.
Maybe he’s too busy ordering fidget spinners to attend. Yeah, that’s probably it.