House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas) will continue to try to force Belo
Corp. to divest itself of one its Dallas media properties.
The Belo-owned Dallas Morning News this week accused Armey of
targeting the company in retaliation for its coverage of Armey's son's failed
attempt to capture his father's seat (the senior Armey is retiring).
According to an amendment that Armey wanted to insert into a $10 billion
military-appropriations bill, Belo would have been forced to sell either the
News, WFAA-TV Dallas or The Denton Record-Chronicle.
The amendment did not make it into the bill Tuesday, but Armey's spokesman
said he will look for other venues for it.
Armey spokesman Greg Crist conceded that the amendment referred to Belo, but
it was not retaliation, instead stemming from the Majority Leader's
longstanding belief that "companies have a responsibility to provide fair and
unbiased coverage where competition doesn't exist."
Suggesting that Belo did not provide that and that it has a monopoly on news in
the market, Crist said the amendment was targeted at the company because
"this is an issue [Armey] has seen in his district." Crist said the
amendment didn't target other cross-ownerships because Armey "didn't want to
presuppose what kind of monopolies exist in other districts."