February 23, 2008

The NY Times ran another piece today on McCain's love affair with lobbyists. They shed more light on his role as chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee and his dealings with the FCC and Glencairn Ltd., a client of Vicki Iseman, his friend the lobbyist. The letter writer called John McStraightalker urged the commission to abandon plans to close a loophole vitally important to Glencairn Ltd.

...a client of Vicki Iseman, a lobbyist. The provision enabled one of the nation’s largest broadcasting companies, Sinclair, to use a marketing agreement with Glencairn, a far smaller broadcaster, to get around a restriction barring single ownership of two television stations in the same city.

You remember Sinclair Broadcasting---the wonderful company that planned to air the hit job on John Kerry called "Stolen Honors." Here's the key passage of the piece though.

For its part, Glencairn appeared to have been getting little support in Congress until it retained Ms. Iseman in 1998.

Edwin Edwards, who was the president of the company at the time, said in a recent interview that after retaining Ms. Iseman, he was able to get heard by Mr. McCain.

"We were pounding the pavement in Washington," Mr. Edwards said. "We recruited help from as many people as we could. We knocked on every door just trying to get support.

So Glencairn was getting nowhere until Vicki was able to get McCain's attention. I wonder how she did that?

Marcy Wheeler breaks it down for us. McCain’s Favors for Iseman Involved Helping Far Right-Wing Families to Sustain their Shell Companies

McCain helped a company evade the clear intent of the law, and in so doing, really concentrate its reach for such a moment when it might want to use its stations as a propaganda vehicle.

And then there's the sheer hypocrisy of it. Five years later, when Sinclair used its concentration to smear a military hero, McCain blamed that smear not on the motivations of the family running Sinclair or those bankrolling the propaganda, but on the concentration of Sinclair's company.

"I do have an opinion that this is an issue that results when you have media concentration, which I have been opposed to," he said at a fund-raiser for Sen. Arlen Specter (R., Pa.). "When you have media concentration - this is the largest TV owner with 62 stations - this is something that happens." [my emphasis]

As the NYT shows, Sinclair only achieved that concentration thanks to McCain's inappropriate intervention...read on

But the media isn't interested in really examining the relationship with Iseman because the nasty NY Times uses unnamed sources in their piece. I admit it wasn't the greatest first piece---kind of looked like a bunch of lawyers had a whack at it, but if McCain's paid lawyer, Mr Bennett says he's an honest guy then I guess that's that. Bennett even said today that it doesn't matter if Paxson disputed McCain's claims that he never talked to him before. Hey, it was a few years ago, who can remember, right?

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