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Solon calls for hearing on TV news
Variety.com ^ | 9/29/2004 | Susan Crabtree, Pamela McClintock, STAFF

Posted on 09/29/2004 9:34:37 AM PDT by LincolnLover

In the wake of CBS News' "60 Minutes" controversy, an influential Republican on Tuesday said he wants to convene a Capitol Hill hearing on TV news operations after the Nov. 2 election.

Rep. Joe Barton (news, bio, voting record) (R-Texas), chair of the House Commerce Committee, told a meeting of the TV engineering trade group MSTV in Washington that broadcast network news divisions "need to have safeguards to prevent reporters from infusing their opinions into news reports."

The lawmaker said he wanted to hear from execs of all the nets -- not just CBS -- and threatened to introduce legislation requiring TV news operations to impose safeguards against partisan bias seeping into reports. He backed off the threat of legislation when pressed for specifics.

Barton also implied that TV news is less reliable then the print media, adding that with reality TV such a force in the entertainment world in recent years, many TV news personalities did not begin their careers as "real journalists" working for newspapers and other print media.

CBS declined comment on Barton's remarks.

News execs emphasized that the First Amendment protects the media from government censorship.

Within CBS News, top Republican Dick Thornburgh and former Associated Press prexy-CEO Louis D. Boccardi continued their investigation of the botched "60 Minutes" story. Pair were appointed by CBS News prexy Andrew Heyward and Viacom co-prexy/CBS prexy-CEO Leslie Moonves.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: barton; bias; censorship; congress; media
First, apologies if this is a repost (have no idea what the "Solon" refers to in the title).

I say we convene a Congressional hearing after the election...to put our collective foot up Joe Barton's backside for this idiotic idea.

The nanosecond this goes from concept to reality, Republicans will be slammed for conducting a partisan witch hunt against the free press in this country, and the central issue (media bias) will be drowned out.

"Legislation" to impose "safeguards"? Hey, Joe, you're a Republican. That's supposed to mean you're against, among other things, censorship, activist governance/unnecessary government intervention into and regulation of private enterprise.

What a stupid, idiotic, heavy handed, over the top "solution" to this problem.

(PS-Why'd you "back off" when pressed for details, Joe? Did you lob these comments into your speech soley for symbolic reasons, or did you, after the fact, realize what an idiot you were for saying such things in the first place?)

1 posted on 09/29/2004 9:34:37 AM PDT by LincolnLover
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To: LincolnLover
Couldn't agree with you more. No matter how biased the press is, no matter how much MORE biased they become in the future, it has to be the people who correct it, not the government. The MSM are free to make total, partisan asses out of themselves, and we the people are free to call them to task for it, but the government cannot get involved in press issues. There's this little document we have which sort of mentions something like that, I believe...
2 posted on 09/29/2004 9:48:44 AM PDT by Jokelahoma (Animal testing is a bad idea. They get all nervous and give wrong answers.)
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To: LincolnLover
Joe Barton originally scoffed at the idea of a Congressional investigation, saying it was a matter for viewers to decide what to watch.

Barton is an idiot who has to be carefully watched by the leadership.

3 posted on 09/29/2004 9:53:53 AM PDT by bayourod (The parrot is dead. Honor your guarantee now Dan Rather.)
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To: LincolnLover

I disagree. If they want to use public airwaves, then they need to be accountable. If not, then do whatever they want. Go cable. Whatever. But not on airwaves owned by the public.


4 posted on 09/29/2004 11:07:34 AM PDT by Samizdat
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To: LincolnLover
Nice to see the Wall Street Journal Editorial board picked up on this one.
5 posted on 09/30/2004 8:29:45 AM PDT by LincolnLover (Say No to Duplicate Posts! Posting Help--http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1179671/posts)
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