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Sharpton not finished with EchoStar

The Revs. Al Sharpton and Horace Sheffield III don't plan to leave EchoStar
Communications Corp. alone.

The ministers are planning another protest against EchoStar's Washington,
D.C., offices Monday, Jan. 28, Sheffield said Friday.

Sharpton, Sheffield and some 300 protesters marched and chanted up and down
20th Street in downtown Washington for about an hour last Monday.

Representing their National Action Network, Sharpton and Sheffield said
EchoStar is discriminating against African Americans by refusing to carry Word
Network, a black gospel channel that features prominent black preachers such as
Sharpton and the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

EchoStar responded that all of its public-interest-channel space is filled
for the year, but that it is carrying African-American owned-and-operated
network CoLours Television.

Meanwhile, EchoStar held a call-in press conference Friday to respond to
reports that 30 states' attorneys general are considering filing lawsuits
against EchoStar's proposed purchase of Hughes Electronics Corp., parent of
DirecTV Inc.

'What you are seeing now is the fairly routine way states go about organizing
themselves to participate in an investigation by the Department of Justice,'
said Steve Hauck, a former assistant attorney general for the state of New York,
who is on retainer with Hughes and EchoStar.

Hauck added that states rarely, if ever, file lawsuits in advance of the DOJ,
so reports that lawsuits are imminent are premature.

'It's a bit puzzling to me to read press reports that the states might sue in
advance of the Department of Justice,' he said.