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Truth, Justice and the Paranoid Way

Sep 1, 2003  •  Post A Comment

A group called Americans for Tax Reform is trying to derail the effort to overturn the FCC’s new rules on media ownership, claiming it is part of a liberal plot “designed to muzzle popular conservative talk-show hosts like Rush Limbaugh” and to embarrass President Bush. Its Web site, www.stopmediaregulation.org, charges that the rollback is backed by “prominent liberals” and opposed by “prominent conservative leaders.” So was it merely an oversight that the group’s promotional material makes no mention that the rollback also has enjoyed strong support from the likes of Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., and the National Rifle Association? “[Sen. Lott’s] opposition is not based on principle or ideology,” said Damon Ansell, the ATR’s VP for policy. “Talk to the NRA,” he added. “I cannot speak for them.” Mr. Ansell denied the effort was being bankrolled by major media that have a financial stake in deregulation. Jeff Chester, executive director of the watchdog Center for Digital Democracy, was skeptical: “It appears that the group is having its copy written by Viacom and News Corp.”