Sopranos takes a hit

Rep. Marge Roukema (R-N.J.) last week introduced a Congressional resolution condemning HBO's The Sopranos
for portraying Italian-Americans in a "negative and unfair" manner. "If African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans had shows like this, they would be marching in the street," she said. Roukema's parents both were Italian-American, and she says that she is sponsoring the resolution in "memory of my mother and father." Roukema says she has 16 co-sponsors and hopes to gain more. HBO's response: "We are very proud of The Sopranos. We are not alone in our assessment that the show is an extraordinary artistic achievement."

FCC on the move

  • Republican FCC Commissioner Harold Furchtgott-Roth said last week he will become a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute after he exits the federal agency. The regulator plans to leave when the current nominees are confirmed.
  • Sarah Whitesell, common carrier adviser to FCC Commissioner Gloria Tristani, last week was named associate chief of the agency's Cable Services Bureau. Also leaving Tristani's office in June is mass-media and cable adviser William Jay Friedman. He will be replaced by Paul Gallant, who returns to the FCC after two years as an attorney for Qwest and BroadBand Office Inc.
  • David Goodfriend, mass-media adviser to FCC Commissioner Susan Ness, will become director of legal and business affairs for direct broadcast satellite provider EchoStar at the end of June.