The Federal Communications Commission is scheduled to vote April 27 on whether to require TV stations to post online public information about political ad buys. Some form of the rule seems likely to pass, but the industry and others are lobbying the FCC to alter the nature of the final rule.ProPublica also has some interactive features in this particular realm that are worth checking out:
(With the help of readers around the country, ProPublica is collecting stations’ public paper files containing data on political ads and posting them online because the information is generally unavailable elsewhere. See "Free the Files.")
Right now we only know the broad thrust the proposed FCC rule: That broadcasters would have to electronically send the commission updates to its political file — in other words, information about what political ads are being purchased, by whom, and for how much money — instead of merely maintaining paper files at the stations, the current practice. The information would be made public on an FCC website.
The rule would apply initially to affiliates of the four major networks — ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX — in the top 50 markets. All other stations would have another two years before they'd have to begin filing electronically.
But the FCC won’t release the exact text of the rule until after the panel votes to finalize it later this month. Meanwhile, the wording is subject to change based on input from interested parties.
That’s why the National Association of Broadcasters has been paying visits to key FCC officials this month. A group of influential Republican senators has also told the FCC they oppose the proposed rule. [...]
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2009:
Here's Fox News host Neil Cavuto talking with a producer at 12:10PM, recorded on a live mic (update: Cavuto was in Sacramento):
CAVUTO: Any estimates on how many people are here?
PRODUCER: No, we're trying to get...
CAVUTO: There's gotta' be 5,000.
PRODUCER: Oh, at least. You know, I mean the cops aren't going to tell us, and we've been trying to get ahold of the PR person to give us their number, but I think 5,000. You can say it's starting at 5,000 [unintelligble, but sounds like "and maybe it's more."].
And here's Cavuto less than ten minutes later, tripling his crowd estimate during his on-air broadcast:
CAVUTO: I know you cover a lot of these things Shep, so you're probably better at estimating crowd sizes than I am. They were expecting 5,000 here, it's got to be easily double, if not triple that.
To recap: off-air, Cavuto is recorded estimating the crowd at 5,000, perhaps slightly more. On-air, Cavuto says the crowd is "easily" double or triple that.
Fox News, they report...you decide.