House Questions Influence on Shows

House Questions Influence on Shows
Posted by FoM on February 10, 2000 at 07:29:34 PT
By The Associated Press
Source: Star Tribune
White House officials are assuring Congress they " never intruded on the creative process" despite providing financial incentives to TV networks that included anti-drug messages in their shows. If the White House' s drug policy office was trying to influence program content, " I think we have stepped incredibly far and hard on the First Amendment, " Rep. Billy Tauzin, R-La., chairman of the Commerce subcommittee on telecommunications, trade and consumer protection, said Wednesday during a hearing. 
The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy said it was only trying to spread an anti-drug message to more young people by letting broadcasters get financial credits for eligible programming. " We' ve never intruded in the creative process, " said Dr. Donald Vereen Jr., deputy director of the drug office. He offered samples of several shows -- including " Cosby" -- which qualified for credits because of an anti-drug message. The arrangement stemmed from Congress' 1997 approval of a program to buy anti-drug ads on TV. Networks were required to match each dollar spent by the federal government, either with free ads or in other ways, such as demonstrating that some of their programs convey anti-drug messages. At the hearing, ABC presented snippets from programs such as " The Practice, " " Sports Night" and " The Drew Carey Show" which carried such anti-drug messages. But network officials asserted they submitted plot summaries and cassettes only after the shows had aired. " These were stories that producers ... wanted to tell in their shows, " said Alex Wallau, ABC' s president of network administration and operations. Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., questioned whether the government was wasting its money by giving financial credits to networks that had already planned to address drug-related issues in their programming. Martin D. Franks, a senior vice president at CBS Corp., said his network initially did submit some scripts before they were aired, but only to get a " yes" or " no" answer on whether they were eligible for the credits and " not for the purpose of inviting ONDCP edits. The White House drug office recently established new rules to clarify that the government will not review program episodes for such credits until they have been aired.Washington (AP)Published: February 10, 2000Copyright 2000 Associated Press. Related Articles:Senators Concerned Over Anti-Drug Ad Deal Must See Television, Propaganda - 1/28/2000 Conspiracy for Good is Bad - 1/28/2000
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Comment #2 posted by kaptinemo on February 10, 2000 at 15:38:48 PT
And smelling like an artificially scented rose
After all, wherever he goes, he spreads BS like a herd of cattle. They have to cover up the smell somehow.
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Comment #1 posted by Wabo on February 10, 2000 at 15:02:30 PT
Spin Cycle
Just add a dash of New and Improved PropagandALL during the spin cycle, and your drug czar will come out shiny and sparkling clean.
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