Re: Was The “Indecency” Controversy Staged?


Craig A. Johnson

On 26 Feb 96 at 19:36, Arthur Richard Brodsky wrote:

> I heard you mention this "secret" caucus on the radio.  I covered
> this bill very closely for Communications Daily.  While it's
> possible I didn't get everything, I never heard about such a
> meeting.  I know why Schroeder voted why she did in the conference,
> and it wasn't to embarrass anyone.  And Conyers people later told me
> he regretted his vote in the closed conference meeting where the
> vote took place -- not something that someone intent on a cynical
> manipulation of the system would do.

Art is of course correct.  I also covered the bill (though not as 
closely as Art) and I never heard any rumor of a Democratic caucus 
deciding to vote *for* censorship in order to embarass the 
Republicans.  What a fanciful, far-fetched, silly notion!!

There *was* a House conferees' caucus, at which Rep. Goodlatte (R-VA) 
offered an amendment, which bastardized and essentially obliterated 
the White idea to sustitute a "harmful to minors" standard for the 
"indecency" standard.  *This* was the amendment for which Scroeder and 
Conyers voted; it did not occur at some *special* Democratic caucus.

Schroeder's vote was a mistake, and she came close to admitting it 
publicly.  This was demonstrated by her exasperation in the conf. 
committee meeting the following week, where she asked the leadership 
four times if they would please circulate language for members to 
study in advance.  Her request was shunned.  She was obviously stung 
by her own vote the week before, and the public's response to it, as 
reported by many people, including Art and myself.

Stahlman's post offered no direct quotes from Negroponte, and to my 
knowledge Negroponte did not closely follow the machinations of this 
issue within the conference committee.

Let's try to ground such quasi-conspiratorial accusations in some 
kind of reality, if at all possible, shall we?


Craig A. Johnson
Telecommunications/Information Policy Specialist
Transnational Data Reporting Service, Inc.