CONGRESS: Members Concerned Over Anti-Drug TV Deal
Lawmakers are concerned about the federal government's deal with television executives to run anti-drug messages in their programs in exchange for financial credits. Senators said the agreement "raised questions despite its good intentions." Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colo.), chair of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on the treasury, told Alan Levitt, director of the White House anti-drug media campaign: "We have no problem with all of the ads you mentioned. The question is how we go about doing it." Fellow Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) agreed, saying the deal raised "real serious questions about the government's role." Since its disclosure, the pact has drawn fire from many who say it is a restriction on free speech. Levitt said such allegations were "unfair" and told the subcommittee, "We have not done this in secret." Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-La.), chair of the House Commerce subcommittee on telecommunications, trade and consumer protection, said he wants to hold hearings to further discuss the matter ( AP/Dallas Morning News, 2/4).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.