This Is The New "Consultant" For the FCC?

From Eric Alterman's "Altercation" blog:

Paul McLeary Chimes in

In July, 2004, “FOX News Live” featured a segment in which a "suburban stay-at-home mom"
appeared supporting president Bush over John Kerry in the upcoming November election. The woman, who was identified simply as a former lobbyist who had "started a nonprofit organization for moms" smiled and shilled for the camera, saying that she felt that Bush he would be better able to keep her children safe than John Kerry.

This same woman appeared on FOX again the next month to support the president and bash Teresa Heinz Kerry, and was again identified merely as a "stay-at-home mom.”

Nowhere in either segment was it mentioned that Penny Nance -- this concerned citizen and everymom -- was in fact a long-time conservative operative with ties to several prominent Christian activist organizations. At that time of last summer’s FOX segments, Nance, in addition to being a mom, was also the president of Kids First Coalition, a conservative group for which she was still a registered lobbyist, and a board member of the conservative Christian women's
organization Concerned Women for America. Somehow, both FOX and Nance also forgot to mention that she was president of Nance and Associates, a public policy and media consulting firm.

And of course, this woman who in effect lied about who she was – twice – on national television has been hired by the Federal Communications Commission as a “special advisor” to help develop agency policy. And which policy would that be? Specifically, she will help develop the agency’s stance on fining alleged instances of “indecent” content on broadcast and possible cable television.

As Eric pointed out in this space yesterday, (and I wrote about at CJRDaily) the long, peaceful slumber of FCC boss Kevin Martin may be about to end. As opposed to those wild and wholly days when his former boss at the agency Michael Powell was handing out fines for alleged “indecent” broadcast content like he was being paid by the profanity, Martin has taken a pretty low-key approach since succeeding to throne in March of this year – so far neglecting to issue ANY fines up to this point. Powell, on the other hand, partially spurred on by a
Republican-controlled Congress ready to knock some Hollywood heads, dished out a whopping $8 million in fines during 2004 – up from the measly $48,000 handed down the year before he took over at the FCC in 2001.

And it looks like those bad old days may be coming back for an encore performance. Martin has long been on record as wanting to enforce stricter indecency fines than Powell had. And Nance is poised to bring her own Biblically-enhanced view to help the cause. The Concerned Women for America, for whom Nance served as a board member until recently, helpfully describes its mission as “helping…to bring Biblical principles into all levels of public policy.” Another cookie-cutter religious right group called The Center for Reclaiming America, for whom Nance also worked as a lobbyist, points out that it sees its mission as one to “defend and implement the Biblical principles on which our country was founded.”

Sounds like just what a secular democracy needs in someone who will have a say in what is able to be broadcast over the nation’s airwaves, doesn’t it?


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