FCC Commissioners Pledge Expanded Inquiry Into Fake News

Federal Communication Commissioners (FCC) Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein have promised an investigation into each of the 46 television stations revealed by the Center for Media and Democracy's report, Still Not the News to have used undisclosed video news releases (VNRs). Democracy Now presenter, Amy Goodman, found it difficult getting a comment from any of the stations. Fifteen declined to comment or did not respond to inquiries while San Diego CBS affiliate KFMB-TV stated a VNR they used should not have been aired without disclosure. The Radio-Television News Directors Association and the newly-minted VNR-industry lobby group, the National Association of Broadcast Communicators, both declined to be interviewed. O'Dwyer's PR Daily reported Copps praised CMD for its "hard work" in producing the report. Adelstein criticized television stations for broadcasting "corporate propaganda" and flagged the need for tighter FCC regulation. "If the flock ignores the shepherd, it is time to build a fence," he said.


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Glenn Beck has no production facilities. This is clearly a VNR with interludes featuring Glenn Beck and decorative framing. All authors interviews are either vanity rag published or not published at all. There is not a single signature to any reference. This may be the mother of all VNR's.

Glenn says from the start and several times therein that he is not a journalist but just a regular guy. Duh! He further states that the show is opinionated, conservative by design and generally reflects only his POV and bias. It is neither fair nor balanced, but needs to be watched in order to understand balance. It is simply a journey from congecture to pablem.

A must see for FCC.

>From: Tom Zimmerman
>To: Ed Cohen
>Subject: Re: Heads up
>Date: Tue, 31 Oct 2006 08:42:12 -0800 (PST)
>Ed, thanks for the alert. I'll be sure that everyone that needs to be is aware of this. Your diligence is very helpful.
> Tom
>Ed Cohen wrote:
> I met a plump woman in South Portland High School who drives a station wagon
>full of Vote No on 1 propaganda. She is middle age, I guess, and owns a
>501.c.3 provider contracting business. I do not remember her name, but she
>lives in Westbrook.
>In conversation, she told me that she is the producer of THE REAL STORY
>BEHIND TABOR, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities ( I have since noticed
>on Waterville School website that there is more than one DVD in circulation,
>but this is the one that I have, and I assumed it is the one to which she
>It occurs to me that Center on Budget and Policy Priorities is a virtual
>address, and that this is actually as the Westbrook lady claims. The reason I
>bring it up is that in No on 1 presentations, the producer is said to be an
>independent think tank, to wit, CBPP. Personally, I believe her, and there
>is no doubt that the money to contract the video maker was ample.
>I don't think this is a minor issue, and I am sorry that I do not remember
>the name. It is late, and you have your work, but it would be useful to
>expose the lie for the VNR that it is.

I have been googling much too long and researching the making of "The Real Story Behind TABOR."
www.i2i.org has a detailed rebuttal, but it does not identify the source of production.
In reviewing the 13:33 DVD, there is no apparent credits to production from beginning to end.
The last frames give contact info for www.cbpp.org which has more pages than Carter has pills.
Nevertheless, I offer the following not entirely conclusive observations:
1. CBPP mission is nebulous at best. The phrase or notion that seems to pop up everywhere is "helping the least fortunate" or other such catch phrase.
2. CBPP has many hired guns with professional head-shots and curricula vitae in assorted 501.c.3 and government bureaus. They are listed by departments that can be lumped into client services or operations.
3. I cannot find any department specifically that produces video product, although they do seem to have ample staff who formulate mathematical projections based on any criteria to suit the client. Their charts, for the most part, seem to be formulated in house, although one cannot rule out the eventuality of shared and plagiarized data. In any event, these charts and graphs all appear to have one thing in common: They transform conjecture into play dough.
4. Another area of client service would appear to be cook-books for lobbying bills for 501.c.3 and government organizations that are mostly lower than state level. On cursory inspection, one easily recognizes government and contractor programs already in place, with details of how other organizations conducted drives to enact bills.
5. I need more time to determine the sources of funding. I presume that clients pay with fiscal revenues that are earmarked for "research" and "development", but I glanced a hyperlink for "donations". One could easily extrapolate from client services that lobbyist referral may be a nice piece of change whether for CBPP of affiliates thereof. I believe the French word for that is "a shmear."
6. I did not review the board or founding members, honorary members, emeritus members, etc. In such organizations, many such muck mucks are not terribly relevant and often underwrite programs for "vanity membership". The players may or may not be identified in the website, but they can be sleuthed with a little perseverance which requires time that we do not have.
Ed's reasonable but not necessarily reliable conclusion:
"The Real Story Behind TABOR" could have been a CBPP client, but I do not believe CBPP is the producer, or even executive producer. Somebody correct my assumptions or amplify them if correct.
Kristi Hargrove, too old to be soccer mom, seems to dominate the audio portions of the play in head shots and narrative. I would look to Kristi as the keystone to the editor, who could lead to the producer, but not if employed by subcontractor.
I have searched for the Westbrook lady and only come up with
River Of Life
11 Bridge St
Westbrook, ME, 04092-2201
(207) 856-7729
I have enlisted the aid of "Center for Media and Democracy" to pin her down, and will spill the beans as soon as I know.