Thursday, January 13, 2005

Roger Gets Results

Well, not really, but I'll take the credit anyway.

WASHINGTON (AP) - A member of the Federal Communications Commission said Thursday the agency should investigate whether conservative commentator Armstrong Williams broke the law by failing to disclose that the Bush administration paid him $240,000 to plug its education policies.

Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein, a Democrat, said the agency has received about a dozen complaints against Williams.

"I certainly hope the FCC will take action and fully investigate whether any laws have been broken," Adelstein said at the commission's regular monthly meeting.

None of the other commissioners responded to his statement during the meeting. Afterward, both FCC Chairman Michael Powell, a Republican, and David Solomon, who heads the agency's enforcement bureau, declined to comment.

Generally, the FCC reviews letters and complaints before determining if there should be an investigation. Powell said he had not seen the complaints filed against Williams.

Adelstein wants the FCC to look into whether Williams violated federal telecommunication law that requires disclosure of any payment or gift for airing any material for broadcast, like a radio disc jockey being paid to play a particular recording.

Although "a dozen" certainly sounds like the total number of my readers, I'm sure it's just a coincidence. (Although the fine folks who visit here -- and not me -- can probably take credit for half of those.) I realize graft isn't as great a threat to the Homeland as Mickey Rooney's ass, but sometimes ya got to take a stand.

But, seriously, this has been plently of other places, including TAPped (where I first read about it), and on Air America. And I hope the FCC doesn't just investigate Williams; the real target should be the payor, not the payee. Williams should cut a deal and name names.

p.s. to the media -- Please send all inquiries to the fastmail address.

p.p.s. -- Yes, that is a joke.

Unless you're Howard Fineman.

You're next, Duck Boy!

(Thanks to a reader.)

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