House Democrats Call For Investigation Into Alleged Report Supression By FCC As Martin Launches Probe
September 21, 2006 at 12:23 PM (PT)
A group of 34 House Democrats led by Congressman MAURICE HINCHEY (D-NY), Congressman DAVID PRICE (D-NC), Congresswoman TAMMY BALDWIN (D-WI), and Congressman SHERROD BROWN (D-OH) today called on FCC Inspector General KENT R. NILSSON to conduct an investigation into the recent revelations that the agency hid two studies on media consolidation from the public (NET NEWS 9/14).
The move by HINCHEY and his asociates comes just days after CALIFORNIA Sen. BARBARA BOXER called for a similar investigation after the second of two allegedly suppressed reports sufaced (NET NEWS 9/19).
If ... these reports were suppressed because they did not support official FCC policy, such actions could ... constitute fraud [and] ... run counter to the FCCâ??s stated goals of transparency and public involvement in its media ownership proceedings
"If one or both of these reports were suppressed because they did not support official FCC policy, such actions could not only constitute fraud, but could also run counter to the FCC’s stated goals of transparency and public involvement in its media ownership proceedings," the House Democrats wrote.
News of this second push for a probe into alleged report supression under former FCC Chairman MICHAEL POWELL comes as current FCC Chairman KEVIN MARTIN launches an internal investigation into the matter, reports MEDIAWEEK. MARTIN's investigation was revealed this week in a letter he wrote to BOXER, which read in part, "I too am concerned about what happened to these two draft reports. I have asked the inspector general of the FCC to conduct an investigation into what happened to these draft documents." In his letter to BOXER, MARTIN denied having ever seen the reports.
As previously reported (NET NEWS 9/15), POWELL has denied any wrongdoing, telling the AP through his assistant JUDY MANN that he "never saw the report, he never heard of the report until yesterday [9/15] and he certainly never ordered anything destroyed or stopped."
For a more detailed look at the story, including a full transcript of the letter drafted by the legislaters and sent to NILSSON, click here.