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April 14, 2005
FCC Gets One Right
Television broadcasters must disclose to viewers the origin of video news releases produced by the government or corporations when the material runs on the public airwaves, the Federal Communications Commission said yesterday.

The FCC's ruling comes as video news releases produced by the Bush administration and aired as part of local television news reports have come under attack from critics who call them unlabeled Republican propaganda.

Washington Post

This is good news, but it's not enough. The FCC didn't say what form the disclosures must take, leaving the door open to non-disclosure disclosures. Senators Frank Lautenberg (D - NJ) and John Kerry (D - Loserville) have introduced an amendment to some completely unrelated bill making the requirements more stringent.

The independent Government Accounting Office had previously said that the administration had broken the law by using federal money to fund propaganda.

Shockingly, the Bush administration's Office of Management and Budget disagreed with that finding.


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