of George Hacker
Director, Alcohol Policies Project
June 12, 1997
FCC Commissioner Rachelle Chong today requested that FCC Chairman Reed Hundt remove a draft Notice of Inquiry regarding broadcast liquor advertising from the agenda of the Commission's June 19 meeting. That obstructionist action amounts to the latest diversion from the FCC's responsibility to assure that broadcast licensees use public airwaves to serve the public interest.
If the potential impact of liquor ads on children does not raise questions concerning broadcasters' public interest responsibilities, then what does? It's truly amazing that any Commissioner would duck the issue, refusing even to undertake an investigation that would include consideration of the Commission's jurisdiction to take specific remedial actions or make appropriate recommendations to Congress.
Distillers' longstanding voluntary ban on broadcast liquor ads occurred on this Commission's watch. Commissioner Chong's delaying tactic puts the interests of broadcasters and liquor marketers above those of children. Rather than block a vote on Chairman Hundt's draft Notice of Inquiry, maybe she should just leave.