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House Democrats Add Voices For FCC Investigation

Led By Maurice Hinchey of New York, 34 House Democrats Thursday added their voices to that of Barbara Boxer, calling for an FCC inspector general investigation of two reports the FCC prepared but did not release.

The move was more of a show of support than anything else, since FCC Chairman Kevin Martin has already launched that IG investigation--which the congressfolk acknowledged--saying he was concerned and wanted to get to the bottom of the issue as well.

Both reports were on media ownership, one on TV and one on radio, and were prepared when Michael Powell was chairman. Martin and Powell have both said they knew nothing of the studies, with Powell adding that not all studies at the FCC get published, a point seconded by former Media Bureau Chief Ken Ferree.

"We believe that a full accounting of the circumstances surrounding the possible suppression of these reports is essential if the FCC is to be perceived as acting in good faith on media ownership issues by Congress and the American people," they wrote to FCC Inspector General Kent Nilsson.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.