With the Federal Communications Commission scheduled to vote this Friday on TV stations posting political advertising data online, we know for certain the final tally will be 2-1. What we don’t know is on which side of the issue Democratic FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn will fall.
She’s the swing vote and reportedly under enormous pressure from the broadcast industry to vote against Chairman Julius Genachowski’s proposal for full online disclosure and instead support a watered down version that some transparency advocates refer to as “fettered access.”
National Journal reports, “While they are currently required to make such data available on paper at their stations, broadcasters are resisting having to post the rates they are charging political candidates online, saying it could pose competitive challenges.” The Journal quoted Republican FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell:
He said that if broadcasters are required to make such information easily available online for all to see, prices could go up “because they’re all gonna know” what each other is charging.
But according to Timothy Karr, senior director of strategy at the media reform group Free Press: