What if you scheduled a grilling…


…and the main entrée failed to show up? The Democrats on a key House subcommittee are prepared to release a report on the management practices of the Kevin Martin FCC, and are concerned that Martin has not yet availed himself of an interview opportunity to put his side of the story on the record. Bart Stupak (D-MI), the Chairman of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee and John D. Dingell (D-MI), the Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, have been on the FCC’s case since December of 2007, looking into alleged things like withholding evidence contradictory to the Chairman’s own agenda, delaying the start times of open meetings and other matters. They say they’ve been trying to arrange a meeting since last week without success. The letters also went to key staffers Daniel Gonzalez, Kent Nilsson, Derek K. Poarch, and former staffer Catherine Bohigian (who is now at Cablevision Systems).

RBR/TVBR observation: Such is the pace in Washington that by the time Stupak’s subcommittee gets around to finishing its study the problem will pretty much have taken care of itself thanks to the upcoming change in administration.

We would remind Congress that if it would ever address a key oft-repeated commissioner complaint. It is the fact that commissioners are prevented from discussing matters among themselves in private.

Communications issues can be extremely complex; and frequently they do not pit Democrat v. Republican against one another so much as they do industry v. industry. If Martin was allowed to sit down with the other four commissioners and work through some of these issues there would be no need for so many delayed meetings and last-second agenda deletions.