The L.A. Times took hometown representative, Democrat Henry Waxman, to task on its editorial page Thursday for pushing NBC to give up internal video tapes that allegedly show GE Chairman Jack Welch encouraging his news executives to call last year's presidential election for George W. Bush.
"Waxman's grab for the tape is likely to have the perverse effect of making executives form the media and entertainment even more reluctant to appear before Congress for fear of jeopardizing their First Amendment rights," the paper wrote. "He should call off the chase."
Waxman has asked NBC President and COO Andrew Lack for video tapes four times, with the most recent request coming on Aug. 2, after Lack on July 31 told Waxman for the third time that Welch did not interfere with the election and that Lack had no intention of handing Waxman any of NBC's internal tapes.
In his Aug. 2 response, Waxman gave Lack until Sept. 4 to reply. NBC spokesman Cory Shields this week said NBC had no plans to respond to Waxman until that date.
- Paige Albiniak