Tauzin: Hold the hypocrisy

News organizations should be less hypocritical when it comes to covering politicians, Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-La.) told the NAB State Leadership Conference in Washington last week. Tauzin, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, complained about CNN's listing the amounts politicians had received from Enron. Tauzin's view is that it is hypocritical for media companies to contribute to politicians, then implicitly criticize politicians for taking the money. Moreover, Tauzin said, the information was not presented correctly since corporations cannot give politicians money directly but only through corporate and political PACs, which is all a matter of public record.

Amber joins EAS

A new child-abduction emergency code was added to the Emergency Alert System operated by broadcasters and cable systems, the FCC said last Tuesday. The code was one of several added to the EAS system.

The abduction alert can activate local AMBER plans, voluntary partnerships between law enforcement and the media to let the public know immediately when police believe a missing child is in danger. Until now, AMBER plans have been activated by the Civil Emergency Message code, a practice that can lead to confusion over the nature of the alert.

Broadcast stations and cable systems are now permitted to modify their existing EAS equipment but are not required to. New equipment installed after Feb. 1, 2004, must be capable of receiving the new codes.