Brad Messer Commentary
Tuesday, September 30, 2003

No-Call List, or not?

The national telemarketer No-Call List may or may not go into effect tomorrow, the first of October.

There were two court decisions about it last week, and one last night. Congress rose up out of zombie partisan gridlock for a few minutes and passed a whole new law about it. President Bush signed it. But it may not happen nevertheless.

The Federal Trade Commission is who you have been giving your name and phone numbers to, for the national Do Not Call List. But a judge ordered the FTC not enforce the list, so the FTC appears to be out of the No-Call List business which it set up.

Then Barney Fife popped up and said he'd handle the whole thing himself. Barney is the Federal Communications Commission. The FCC announced it would step in and said, if the FTC can't do it, we will do it and save the day.

But we're told the FCC doesn't have extra staff to handle it, and anyway, the FCC doesn't even have a copy of the FTC's Do Not Call List to give to telemarketers. Barney has no bullet, as usual.

The whole thing is like a movie plot: boy meets girl, boy loses girl, and then at the end— well, we're not at the end yet. We don't know if we'll get the Don't Call List or not. Maybe a telemarketer will call the FCC and offer to sell a copy.

Brad Messer commentary, KTSA.

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