Democratic Rep. Henry Waxman wants to know why a Time Warner Cable Inc. lobbyist sent Republican congressional aides a news article that said NBC aired programming to help Obamacare succeed.
“A cable company should not be pandering to the worst instincts of the reckless Republican extremists who seem to be running the House of Representatives,” Waxman, a California Democrat, said in a letter today to Time Warner Cable Chief Executive Officer Glenn Britt.
Waxman attached a copy of an e-mail dated Sept. 27, with identities of sender and recipients blacked out, that the lawmaker said was sent by a Time Warner Cable lobbyist. In the document the sender states, “Next time you think about helping broadcasters — particularly the networks — read this …”
On succeeding lines the e-mail provides a link to an article in the Weekly Standard bearing the headline, “NBC Launches Week of Programming to ‘Help’ Obamacare Succeed.”
The article by Daniel Halper quotes from an NBC promotional release that said NBC was offering coverage “to help Americans get the most out of the Affordable Care Act,” the health-care law known as Obamacare that Republicans insist be changed. The issue is at the center of a political standoff keeping parts of the government closed since Oct. 1.
“Could you please explain why this e-mail was sent and what purpose it serves?” asked Waxman, who sits on the Energy and Commerce Committee that oversees cable and broadcast companies.
Time Warner, the second-largest U.S. cable company, is “looking into the situation” and will respond to Waxman, Justin Venech, a spokesman for the New York-based company, said in an e-mail.
Liz Fischer, a spokeswoman for Comcast Corp. unit NBC, based in New York, didn’t immediately supply a comment.