As if it wasn't convoluted enough, the 159-page Stevens telecoms reform bill -- which now includes broadcast and audio flag provisions -- got buried under an avalanche of 200 proposed amendments today. At the markup committee meeting, senators became quickly mired in discussions over a tiny fraction of these proposals. The remainder of the amendments -- including Senator Sununu's proposal to throw out the flags wholesale -- were postponed until next Tuesday.
It's certainly getting messy in there. With Senator McCain proposing that the broadcast flag be tied to broadcaster support for a la carte cable channels, and heavyweights like Intel balking at the current language, even the flag's proponents may be having second thoughts about entering this cauldron of competing special interests.