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FCC to probe TV analysts' Pentagon ties

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Responding to a complaint from Reps. John Dingell (D-Mich.) and Rosa DeLaura (D-Conn.), the Federal Communications Commission is investigating whether…

Responding to a complaint from Reps. John Dingell (D-Mich.) and Rosa DeLaura (D-Conn.), the Federal Communications Commission is investigating whether certain television analysts did not properly disclose their military connections when they discussed the Iraq war on air, according to U.S. News and World Report.

Referencing New York Times reports on certain pundits’ links to the Pentagon, the legislators wrote, “When seemingly objective television commentators are in fact highly motivated to promote the agenda of a government agency, a gross violation of the public trust occurs.” The analysts were allegedly briefed by senior government officials and had taken free military trips to Iraq in exchange for more favorable commentary on the status of the war.

The FCC has given analysts mentioned in the Times article 30 days to respond to allegations of wrongdoing. 

The representatives stated in their complaint that TV stations and networks may have violated a section of the Communications Act of 1934, prohibiting anyone preparing broadcast content from accepting money, goods or services for mentioning a topic without disclosure, and the FCC’s Radio and Television Broadcast Rules, which require disclosure where such relationships are discovered.