Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-La.) said news organizations should be less hypocritical
when it comes to covering politicians, speaking at the National Association of
Broadcasters' State Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C., Monday.
Tauzin, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, complained about
Cable News Network listing amounts that politicians had received from Enron
Corp. during hearings held on the bankrupt energy firm.
'Either it's wrong for broadcasting and cable companies to participate in the
political process by giving money, or it's not,' Tauzin said.
His view is that it is hypocritical for broadcasting and cable companies to
give money to politicians themselves, then to implicitly criticize politicians
for taking the money.
Moreover, Tauzin said, the information was not presented correctly.
Corporations cannot give politicians money directly, he said. Instead,
corporations' political-action committees give money to politicians' PACs, and
it's all a matter of public record.
Since 1989, Tauzin has accepted nearly $6,500 from Enron and $57,000 from its
accounting firm, Andersen, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Tauzin has been one of Congress' leading voices in investigating the
Houston-based energy company.