February 27, 2004

HOWARD STERN UPDATE: Reader Jeffrey Bartash emails:

As someone who covers the FCC for a living, I can assure you that the pressure for a crackdown on broadcast indecency did not originate in the White House. In fact, critics have accused Michael Powell of being too lax. The main driver of tougher enforcement, at least on the FCC, has been Democratic Commissioner Michael Copps, a former aide to S.C. Sen. Fritz Hollings. In the Congress, there’s been bipartisan support for a crackdown coming from the likes of Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Fred Uption, R-Mich. The White House has not been at the forefront of this issue.

I’ve wondered about that, as a broadcast crackdown before an election seemed kind of like a dumb thing for the Administration to do, and although a lot of people have been blaming the Bush Administration for it, I couldn’t see any real indication that it was their idea.