Comcast's Cohen to host Obama fundraiser; Reel Grrls turns down MSO's funds

The bonds between the cable industry and the world of politics are coming into HD-worthy clarity these days.

Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) Executive Vice President David Cohen will host a fundraising dinner for President Obama with contributors being asked to cough up as much as $100,000 to attend. Cohen spent part of his time last week defending Comcast's decision to hire Republican FCC Commissioner Meredith Atwell Baker as a lobbyist only months after she approved the Comcast-NBCUniversal merger. Cohen will host the fundraising at his home.

Meanwhile, the political fallout from the Baker appointment continued to rain down. Real Grrls, a Seattle nonprofit that lost, then regained Comcast funding after an unflattering tweet about the hiring, says it doesn't want the money after all.

The organization, which uses the money to send girls to summer camp, lost $18,000 in Comcast support when an MSO employee in Washington State took umbrage with a tweet that criticized Baker's hiring. Corporate Comcast said that its regional office was wrong and offered to restore the money, but Reel Grrls executive director Malory Graham rejected it because of "serious questions" about "the ability of corporations to stifle public discussion."

In less volatile but still political news, the NCTA said that Chicago mayor and former Obama right hand man Rahm Emanuel will speak at the opening session of The Cable Show 2011 in Chicago.

For more:
- the Los Angeles Times has this story
- Washington Post has this story
- see this news release

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