Senator Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), chairman of the Senate’s oversight committee, has asked the White House for documents on possible political interference with the Surgeon General’s office, including possibly censoring his speeches so that they better reflect a particular political bent.
Former Surgeon General Richard Carmona told Waxman’s committee that the administration "edited his public remarks, blocked him from developing or issuing several reports or calls to action, and denied travel requests on political grounds," according to testimony to the committee.
Waxman’s committee has been particularly interested in reports that the administration was trying to micromanage public comments, including media appearances by government officials, particularly scientists talking, or not talking, about global warming. Carmona’s revelations only add fuel to the fire, which has already been fed by the Bush administration’s past uses of video news releases.
The White House has denied it is censoring anyone, but spokesman Tony Snow has said there is nothing wrong with administration officials being expected to support the President’s policies…..
Next week, the fairness doctrine debate will get input from a primary source.
Dennis Patrick, the FCC chairman who presided over the doctrine’s demise in 2007, will talk about its impact opn the marketplace in a talk at the National Press Club July 18….
Reporters will have a tough call between that and the Federal Trade Commission’s day-long obesity seminar, at which some major food marketers plan to unveil more self-regulatory efforts to combat childhood obesity, as well as the perception that they shoulder much of the blame…