Washington Post's softball review of NAB's spectrum lobbying strategy

Cited Article

Cecilia Kang, Ex-senator Gordon Smith now represents broadcasters as voice for free, local TV, Washington Post, February 12, 2011.

Quote from the Article

“[Gordon Smith] says spectrum is the ‘seed corn’ of television stations….  Some observers wonder whether Smith is playing a game of poker, trying to get the government to ante up more money for broadcasters in auction.”

My Comment about the Article

Sure, that’s exactly what Smith and his client the NAB are doing.  The NAB, with Congressional sanction, has been negotiating one sided deals at the expense of the American public for generations.  But only in the last few decades, as the value of spectrum skyrocketed, has the cost to the American public of those one-side deals become larger than the entire GNP of many countries.  If the past is any guide, the NAB, with Congressional blessing, will once again deliver a sucker punch to the American public.  Shame on the Washington Post for not disclosing that it has been a longtime member of the NAB and has a dog in this fight.

My Comment about the Washington Post’s posting policy

One of the most interesting findings from my experiment posting comments to various media outlets is seeing which ones tolerate critical comments.  After I posted this comment, the fifth comment on this article, the Washington Post, presumably at the request of Cecilia Kang, took down all five comments, not just my own.  This is not the first time I’ve had this happen with a Washington Post article.  Several years ago I posted a critical comment of a Washington Post article that had covered a school board meeting that I had attended, just before the Washington Post stopped covering the school system (Anne Arundel County).  The reporter hadn’t actually attended the meeting but nevertheless wrote about it and got some information wrong.  In that case, I was the only person who had commented on the article.  In my postings on spectrum policy, the only other news outlet so far not to accept my comments is Broadcasting & Cable.

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