Date: 15th February 2001

TV News Execs' Mea Culpa

Top news executives of the major broadcast and cable networks and the Associated Press admitted in appearances before a congressional hearing Wednesday that they made serious mistakes during their election-night coverage last November but said it was up to them, not Congress, to correct them.

On the other hand, the executives also suggested that Congress could help avoid a repeat of the situation by setting a uniform poll-closing time nationally. Several execs were clearly angered at being called on the mat before the legislators and being required to provide sworn testimony. Massachusetts Congressman Ed Markey, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which conducted the hearings, appeared to sympathize with their discomfort. "There's a kind of criminalization of the news media here," he remarked. "We should avoid confusing this with the tobacco hearings or the Firestone hearings."

Source: Studio Briefing