Enter Chairman Waxman


Media executives in general and broadcasters in particular, along with the government agency execs charged with their oversight, are by now well acquainted with John Dingell (D-MI) and Ed Markey (D-MA) of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, whose enthusiasm for hearings is impressive to say the least. Now another House high-ranker is showing some interest. We refer to Henry Waxman (D-CA), who in addition to holding a seat in E&C, is chair of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. His upcoming foray will peripherally affect broadcasters. He is concerned that the FDA under Commissioner Andrew Von Eschenback is concerning itself with the desires of the companies it regulates rather than using the agency to protect citizens. Among the priorities Waxman is concerned about are rewriting the rules to make it easier to advertise and promote pharmaceuticals. He has an internal memo in which FDA employees, all with prior ties to the pharmaceutical industry, listed these and other priorities. Currently, Waxman is merely asking Von Eschenbach to answer a series of pointed questions on the matter. Also of interest to some in the broadcast community: Lehman Brothers CEO Richard Fuld is scheduled to appear before Waxman’s committee 10/6/08 to discuss his company’s recent implosion.