So it looks like controversial former Attorney General John Ashcroft is using his remaining influence in the Justice Department to lobby on behalf of the National Association of Broadcasters against the proposed satellite radio merger
-- though it seems that he's acting more out of self-interest than anti-trust ideology in this debate, as the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Ashcroft's consulting firm initially approached XM before eventually being hired by NAB. As you might imagine, then, Ashcroft's letter the House and Senate Judiciary Committees was decidedly anti-amalgamation, concluding that "the proposed Sirius/XM merger, which reduces the number of competitors from two to one, raises most serious competition concerns." Of course, now that everyone knows Ashcroft originally intended to shill for XM before NAB "opted to pay him to parrot their views" (according to an XM spokesperson), his "professional opinion" on the matter will probably hold decidedly less weight. Still, the WSJ revelation apparently didn't stop Ashcroft from enjoying his weekend, where at various times he was spotted listening to his iPod, jamming out to HD radio, streaming NPR over the Internet, and of course nodding in agreement as Rush Limbaugh espoused his opinions over the free analog airwaves.