Rep. Scalise 2002 Speech Makes Headlines

House Communications Subcommittee member Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) was in the national news Tuesday (Dec. 30) after his office reportedly confirmed he had spoken to a group of white supremacists while he was a state representative back in 2002.

In an interview with the New Orleans Times-Picayune  or anything it stands for and doesn't remember speaking to the group, though conceding he talked to a number of groups about his opposition to a tax plan at about that time--spring 2002.

"I didn't know who all of these groups were and I detest any kind of hate group. For anyone to suggest that I was involved with a group like that is insulting and ludicrous," he told the paper. "I was opposed to a lot of spending of spending at the state level. When people asked me to go speak, I went and spoke to any group that called."

Scalise's office had not returned a call for comment at press time.

Scalise has pushed major video reform, including repealing compulsory licenses and lifting media ownership rules. He has also long proposed getting rid of the must-buy tier and scrapping the retransmission consent regime, both of which cable operators would like to see gone. Scalise was elected majority whip in June.

John Eggerton

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.