D.C. Follies, Part Two: The Mute Factor

Mar 15, 2004  •  Post A Comment

Jaws dropped at a House telecommunications subcommittee hearing last week when Bob Lee, president and general manager of WDBJ-TV in Roanoke, Va., told lawmakers that they should consider the “Oh shit factor” before pumping out new legislation affecting satellite TV. While this is the same committee that has been considering indecency legislation, the utterance passed without too much discomfort. Committee Chairman Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., noted that he had a mute button at his controls on the dais. Before Mr. Lee resumed his testimony later in the session, Rep. Upton asked, “Do I need to have my finger on the mute button again?” Said Mr. Lee in response: “I’ve cleaned it up.” Fortunately for Mr. Lee, who was testifying in behalf of the National Association of Broadcasters, C-SPAN, which often televises hearings involving telecommunications issues live, was not in attendance.