WASHINGTON – The chairman of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association is urging Congress to hold the media "accountable" for what he alleges is inaccurate reporting on the Gulf oil spill that has hurt tourism in his state.
Keith Overton suggested at a hearing Tuesday that Congress charge a federal agency with reviewing news reporting. He complained many in media put "ratings ahead of accuracy" and exaggerated the amount of oil that hit Florida beaches.
Overton is also chief operating officer of TradeWinds Island Resort in St. Pete Beach, Fla. He did not specify what government could do. Congressional action is limited, given the First Amendment's free speech protections.
He did get a sympathetic response from Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., who agreed the media focuses on sensationalism.