Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) told broadcasters that if they continue to 'serve
the public well,' they will continue to win legislative battles 'together.'
Dingell was on hand at the National Association of Broadcasters' annual
legislative-affairs dinner to receive the 'Grover Cobb Award' for strengthening
ties between the industry and the federal government.
In introducing Dingell, NAB president Eddie Fritts said broadcasters have
counted him as a friend, but he also holds them accountable.
Dingell says you can be special or not, Fritts said. Special, he added, means
serving the public interest, while 'not' means risking 'the wrath of John
Dingell, the House's senior member, drew a laugh from the audience when he
said he had 'seen many networks come and go, although not as many as the NAB' --
a reference to the defection of CBS, NBC and Fox from its ranks.
Turnabout was fair play, though, with the NAB getting in the first laugh with
a mock introduction of Fritts that was interrupted by Jay Leno (the evening's
entertainment), who, noting the recent campaign-reform bill-limitations, slipped
a white envelope into Dingell's suit pocket.
On a more serious note, Dingell said, 'We all owe debt for gratitude' to
broadcasters for their public service -- service that he said makes his job of
supporting them easier.