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Roast Chairman, Take II - Broadcasting & Cable

Roast Chairman, Take II

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Former National Association of Broadcasters President Eddie Fritts killed ‘em with his warm-up act for the roast of FCC Chairman at the Federal Communications Bar Association annual chairman’s dinner Wednesday night, calling Martin, "a good sport and a good friend."

Fritts said he had only gotten notice from the FCC about the event five days ago. Fritts said he wanted to provide an update on the war."It’s still going on…between the FCC and cable. Kevin was going to speak first," he said, "but commissioners Tate and McDowell asked him to wait for 60 days."

Fritts said Martin had actually become chairman due to the No Child Left Behind Act, saying he had known Martin since he was 25 and looked 12. "Kevin looks so young that even Mark Foley would throw him back," he said to groans all around.

"A lot of people think 70/70 gives Kevin a mandate on a la carte, he said, "Not true, the only one in Washington who has a mandate is Larry Craig." [wait for it].Craig was the source of another one-liner from Fritts, though off topic. He said that Republicans were having a tough year."Between Pat Robertson and Larry Craig, the GOP slogan could be: Narrow Minds, Wide Stances."

"Kevin has a 90-day window for public comment on the ownership rules proposed by the FCC, Fritts said. "Kevin has no problem with that," he said, "especially since he has no plans to read the comments."

Fritts said that Hillary Clinton had been attacking Barack Obama because in kindergarten he wrote an essay saying he wanted to grow up to be president. "Noone ever writes in a kindergarten essay that they want to be chairman of the FCC…excpet maybe Michael Copps."

Fritts said that Martin’s goal was family friendly programming on cable that both grandparents and teenagers could sit together and watch."In other words, something for Fred Thompson and his wife."

As for that chestnut (see previous post). In a room full of lawyers, a lawyer joke was inevitable. Fritts said he was the only one in the room not working on the XM/Sirius merger. "There are lawyers in this room that make 500 dollars an hour on this issue. That sounds like a lot unless you’re a D.C. madame. The difference, of course, the difference is there are things she won’t do for money."

Martin also poked some fun at his hosts, saying that "over the past couple of weeks it seemed that every lawyer in the city was lobbying on behalf of the cable industry. I don’tknow how much money the cable industry has spent, but I do know that if our country goes into a recession it won’t be my fault."

"I’m sure all of you have heard of the Dingellgram," said Fritts, going on to explain to whoever hadn’t that it was a letter from House Energy & Commerce committee Chairman John Dingell requesting information. "I spoke to Kevin on Monday,"said Fritts, "and asked him if he had recently received a Dingellgram. He said yes. I asked him if it hurt. He said yes. He also recommended that all men over age 50 get a Dingellgram at least once a year."

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