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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

FCC to Probe Mysterious "60 Minutes" Blackout

According to the Associated Press and Reuters, the Federal Communications Commission is moving forward with an investigation into a curiously timed blackout during a "60 Minutes" segment on the criminal prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman.

The Federal Communications Commission is investigating why an Alabama television station went dark during a Feb. 24 broadcast of a "60 Minutes" installment.

The blackout occurred on WHNT-TV in Huntsville, Ala., during a segment on imprisoned former Gov. Don Siegelman that suggested he was the victim of a Republican conspiracy. The station blamed the outage on equipment failure.

Republican FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said Tuesday that the agency had received "some 20-odd complaints" regarding the broadcast and had told staff to send a letter asking for an explanation of the incident. A "letter of inquiry" is routine when reviewing complaints against a station and is the first step in an investigation of a broadcast licensee.
For more background on this controversy, read our post from last Thursday, "Scott Horton Discusses Siegelman Controversy on MSNBC".

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