Pundit Inquiry Result Still Pending At FCC5/15/2009 10:29 AM Eastern
A resolution is still pending over an official Federal Communications Commission inquiry into the role of the media in the Pentagon's imbedded military analyst program.
That's according to FCC spokesman, who confirmed that the agency had received responses back from networks and others in the inquiry, but could provide no timetable for when the commission would release its conclusions.
The investigation was launched after House Energy & Commerce Chairman John Dingell (D-Mich.) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) asked the commission to look into a story in The New York Times about the Department of Defense program, in which military analysts were prepped by the administration and used as "force multipliers" to talk up administration policies.
A number of legislators wanted to know whether TV stations or networks bear any responsibility for not identifying the analyst's connection to the Pentagon or defense contractors.
The Defense Department's Inspector General's Office last week rescinded a report that had concluded there was insufficient evidence that the Pentagon's imbedded pundit program violated the prohibition on using appropriations for publicity or propaganda. But DOD also said it would not issue a new report, pointing out the program had ended and those responsible were not longer working for DOD.
In a blog posting, Diane Farsetta, senior researcher for the Center For Digital Democracy, whose charter is "exposing spin and government propaganda," said they weren't expecting accountability for the program to come from DOD, and said it was up to Congress and the FCC to carry out "real instestigations" into the campaign.