Charbonnet complains to CNBC's The Deed, FCC claims Sidney Torres violated law, contract
The Charbonnet campaign has just launched a public relations scud missile upon its new public rival, television personalality Torres-- claiming violation of contract and law. This latest salvo will surely raise the heat so much higher and the flames somuch brighter upon a New Orleans Mayor’s race that has otherwise lackied in spark.
The sideshow is clearly the most exciting game in town.
Today, the Charbonnet campaign released an email press release claiming Torres has violated FCC and CNBC contract provisions.
Last week, Charbonnet pulled out of the forum sponsored by Torres. Charbonnet claimed that she did so because there were ethical concerns that she has not heretofore detailed. Torres responded by threatening to run TV ads against her and in fact, has done so.
Yesterday, the brawl between the two turned even uglier making claim and cross claims about their respective alleged relationship with disgraced and imprisoned former New Orleans Mayor, C. Ray Nagin.
Desiree Charbonnet, Sidney Torres in New Orleans Mayor's race hand to hand combat
Today, the Charbonnet forwarded the below press email along with a copy of a letter sent to CNBC and to the FCC. Here is that coverletter followed by the actual dispatch to CNBC and the federal government.
How much publicity is too much? For Sidney Torres, the answer has traditionally been that there can never be too much time in front of the camera. But his intense political activities violate FCC rules, and are now receiving new scrutiny. The Desiree Charbonnet campaign has filed a formal complaint with CNBC, where Torres is a reality TV personality, and sent a copy of the complaint to the FCC.
“This election is too important for the future of New Orleans to let a reality TV star hijack it for personal gain,” said Kevin Stuart, Charbonnet campaign senior media advisor. “Sidney Torres has already made too much money and garnered too much fame on the backs of the people of New Orleans. Now he’s violating the law.”
A copy of the letter sent to the FCC is attached. The package included substantiating materials: links to Voice PAC’s advertisements, news articles about Voice PAC’s activities, and the press release from the Charbonnet campaign detailing its withdrawal from Voice PAC’s forum.
Here is the letter to CNBC:
900 Sylvan Avenue
Englewood, Cliffs, New Jersey 07632
RE: Complaint “The Deed”
Sidney Torres, IV
To Whom It May Concern:
This is a formal complaint to CNBC regarding the improper political
activities of Sidney Torres, IV, who is the primary and recurring lead personality
of the reality television series, “The Deed.” This series is carried on your cable
network. The improper political activities of Mr. Torres and his Political PAC,
“Voice PAC” violate the terms and provisions of CNBC’s license with the FCC
and the guidelines established by the League of Women voters for fair and
impartial debates. And on information and beliefs, Mr. Torres has also violated
provisions of his contract with CNBC.
STATEMENT OF FACTS
The televised debate sponsored by Sidney Torres, IV and his “Voice PAC”
was held on Wednesday, September 27, 2017. Four candidates in the Primary
Election scheduled for October 14, 2017 were invited to participate in the debate.
The candidates are Desiree Charbonnet, LaToya Cantrell, Michael Bagneris and
Desiree Charbonnet agreed to participate in the debate after representatives
of her campaign agreed in writing to the debate format and members of a panel of
journalists who would ask questions of the candidates.
Within 24 hours of the scheduled debate, two of the mutually agreed upon
journalists dropped out the debate. One was a journalist from WVUE-TV, the local
FOX affiliate station and the other journalist was from WDSU-TV, the local NBC
affiliate station. Both stations had “ethical concerns” about Mr. Torres’ personal
participation in the debate and misleading and contradictory statements he made to
the stations about the debate.
When Ms. Charbonnet learned of the withdrawal of the two respected
journalists from the debate, she also withdrew. (See attached statement.)
The debate proceeded with three candidates and an empty podium reserved
for Ms. Charbonnet. During the debate, Mr. Torres personally asked questions
which prompted the remaining three candidates to criticize Ms. Charbonnet during
After the debate, Mr. Torres threatened to spend $200,000 on television ads
targeting Ms. Charbonnet. His first anti-Charbonnet attack aired twice Sunday,
October 1, 2017 during a NFL football game. More ads are scheduled to air during
Mr. Sidney Torres’ actions during and following, the debate of September
27, 2017 constitute prohibited political activity and improper electioneering in
violation of FCC rules and regulations governing cable and TV broadcasting. His
use of the empty podium during the debate and in his anti-Charbonnet attack ads
violate the guidelines established by the League of Women Voters for “empty
Because of Mr. Torres’ improper and retaliatory political activities, his
reality TV show “The Deed” should be immediately cancelled and not aired on
Kevin E. Stuart, Ph.D.
President, Teddlie Stuart Media Partners, Inc.
Senior Media Advisors to the Charbonnet for Mayor Campaign Committee
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, S.W.
Washington, DC 20554