Attentive readers of this blog probably noticed the posting below about the FCC’s sponsorship of the Number 38 Digital TV Transition Ford Fusion. And really attentive readers may have noticed that, in the accompanying graphic, it originally appeared that Commissioner Copps was riding shotgun while Chairman Martin did the steering. The graphic no longer includes Copps because we have since been advised that Commissioner Copps had nothing to do with the decision to allot $350,000 to the NASCAR sponsorship. Of course, Copps has been extraordinarily vocal about the need for the FCC to get the DTV Transition word out to the public at large, but in going back over his statements (including, e.g., his personal letter to Martin following the Wilmington, NC experiment) we can’t find anything that says that slapping FCC decals on a NASCAR is likely to do the trick. Since it looks like we can’t lay any responsibility for the L’Affaire NASCAR on Copps, and since we have now been specifically advised that he had nothing to do with it, we have, through the miracle of modern computer technology, removed Commissioner Copps from the graphic. 10-4, Good Buddy. (If you happened to save a copy of the first edition, hold onto it – it’s now officially a collector’s item.)
Of course, the fact that Commissioner Copps was apparently not involved in the NASCAR decision raises an obvious question: who was involved? We don’t have a good answer for that, but if and when we do, we’ll let you know. (Of course, if other Commissioners advise us that they were in fact consulted and gave their approval of the NASCAR deal before it was announced, we will happily pass that word along to our readers.) It seems odd that a $350,000 expenditure – especially one of this unusual nature – might have been made single-handedly by the Chairman, but such are the mysteries of the Washington bureaucracy.