opinion: Debbie Stabenow's past dealings with ABC program questionable
On Sept. 7, 2006, Senator Debbie Stabenow and four of her Senate colleagues sent a letter to ABC stating their disagreement with some aspects of ABC's program The Path to 9/11.
Had the letter simply expressed these disagreements, it would have been totally appropriate. Unfortunately, it did not. It went well beyond that, outlining the law under which ABC broadcasts and making an only slightly-veiled threat against ABC's broadcast license, if ABC did not respond to their demands (which were to cancel the program entirely).
Think about that. Sen. Stabenow is completely comfortable with the idea of using her government office to threaten a business that dared say something that she didn't agree with. It wasn't enough to simply register disagreement and cite facts to back up her position. She alluded to the very broadcast license that allows ABC to operate, while demanding a program's cancellation. The implication was clear: ABC should do her bidding if they liked staying in business.
Fortunately, there are 100 Senators in Washington, not five, and so they had no way of carrying out their threat. ABC knew this and broadcast the show anyway. But Sen. Stabenow and her colleagues were on-board with the idea of using governmental power against a broadcaster over a disagreement in broadcast content. That should be unthinkable in the United States of America.
Remember that when you go vote the first Tuesday in November.
John A. Dodds