Like many nonprofit groups, the council raises money by mail: sign and return this petition — preferably with a donation — and we will send it to the F.C.C. But internal documents show that, at least for a period of some months, the council was opening tens of thousands of envelopes, looking for money, and skipping the rest of the steps.
Yikes. The story does seem to have originated with a disgruntled ex-employee, but the revenue figures and facts in the piece are what they are. And as much as I’ve disagreed with the group—especially in its efforts to enlist government regulation of content it disapproves—it also does worthwhile service by publishing content ratings for its members (something that enables rather than limits choice). From one recession-impacted part of the economy to another, my sympathies.