They've got muck; we've got rakes. TPM Muckraker
March 5, 2008
The Honorable Kevin J. Martin
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street SW
Washington, DC 20554
Dear Chairman Martin:
According to recent press reports, on Sunday, February 24th, a segment of â60 Minutesâ addressing the conviction of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman failed to air on WHNT-TV in Huntsville, Alabama. Instead of the regularly scheduled segment, viewers were subjected to several minutes of dead air. Following the completion of the segment, the station resumed its broadcast of â60 Minutesâ without further incident.
Although the station reportedly blamed the black out on a technical malfunction, questions have been raised as to whether the nature of the content played a role.
I understand that you will be looking into the details of this incident, including the reason for the stationâs failure to broadcast this segment. Upon the completion of your inquiry, I ask that you share your findings and conclusions with interested members of the congressional committees of jurisdiction, so that we will know that a complete inquiry has been conducted.
It is a fundamental responsibility of the Federal Communications Commission to ensure that broadcasters fulfill their duties as trustees of the public airwaves. As a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, I will be monitoring this situation closely, and I look forward to the resolution of your inquiry.
The Honorable Michael J. Copps, FCC Commissioner
The Honorable Jonathan S. Adelstein, FCC Commissioner
The Honorable Deborah T. Tate, FCC Commissioner
The Honorable Robert M. McDowell, FCC Commissioner