The government can’t figure it out.

The Government Accountability Office has issued a report, at the request of representatives Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Mike Quigley (D-IL), attempting to assess the value of broadcast commercials and other content intended to influence members of Congress. The result: insufficient data. The goal of the report was to determine the fair market value of issue spots run during the five-year span of 2007 to 2012; such issues included The Performance Rights Act, FM chips in mobile phones, spectrum allocation, and cable retransmission consent. The decision means that although broadcasters might have the obligation to disclose the sponsor and retain the information in the public file for a minimum of two years, there is no obligation to air opposing views.

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