Adelstein Applauds FCC's Military Payola Probe


Washington -- Federal Communications Commission Democrat Jonathan Adelstein Tuesday applauded the agency's probe into whether military analysts who appeared on cable and broadcast networks to discuss the Iraq war properly identified their financial relationships with the Pentagon.

"I'm glad we are looking into these allegations that there was a possible attempt to deceive the American people concerning one of the most controversial issues facing the country today. We have an obligation to pursue this investigation, and to conclude it quickly," Adelstein said in a statement.

Adelstein's statement added that the FCC's Enforcement Bureau "has sent letters of inquiry to 19 former military officers and five networks concerning allegations that the officers received consideration to air favorable views of the Iraq war during their appearances on network shows."

Neither Adelstein's office would not provide the names of the military officers or the TV networks under investigation. Similarly, an FCC spokesman would not identify the parties.

An FCC spokesman said: "The Enforcement Bureau is looking into it. They did send letters."

Adelstein said in a June speech that FCC payola regulations might have been violated.

"These rules prohibit anyone involved with preparing broadcast or cable programs from accepting anything of value without disclosing it to the public. They also require broadcast and cable stations to exercise reasonable diligence in determining whether a disclosure is need[ed] for materials involving controversial issues of public importance," Adelstein said in the speech.