i'm not sure if this goes here or in the entertainment igloo, heh.
Sci Fi Channel Lobbies Congress for More UFO Info
Mon, Jun 23, 2003 05:42 PM PDT
LOS ANGELES (Zap2it.com) - Like the spaceship that crashes into the Capitol in "Earth vs. the Flying Saucers," the Sci Fi Channel is invading Washington.
The cable network has hired a lobbying firm to press Congress about being more open with the results of UFO investigations. Sci Fi is also thinking about going to court to have documents from a 1965 incident in Pennsylvania declassified.
Such actions are more typical of news agencies, not entertainment networks whose stock in trade is "Stargate SG-1" and "Tremors." But given the success of documentaries on the alleged Roswell UFO crash -- which was the highest-rated special in the network's history -- Sci Fi decided to go forward with its lobbying effort.
The network has hired the lobbying firm of PodestaMattoon, whose partners include John Podesta, a former White House chief of staff in the Clinton administration. The firm has spoken with several members of Congress about the subject, although it won't reveal who.
"It's very, very tough for people to take this subject seriously," Ed Rothschild of PodestaMattoon tells the AP. "We thought the only way it was going to be seriously addressed is to have serious people talk about it, scientists."
The network's next UFO special, "Out of the Blue," airs at 9 p.m. ET Tuesday (June 24). It features interviews with a number of former government officials, including a brief Q-and-A with former President Jimmy Carter, about their experiences with unidentified flying objects.
Co-director James Fox acknowledges the "giggle factor" associated with investigating UFO claims and says Sci Fi may be risking credibility with its lobbying effort. A network executive doesn't see it that way, however.
"I don't think there's a risk because the questions need to be asked," says Thomas Vitale, Sci Fi's head of programming. "Even somebody who is the biggest skeptic in the world ... still wants the questions answered. And who better to do it?"