Sue Wilson over at DAILY KOS shows ignorance of both broadcasting and the law.

She writes;

But what Holden may or may not have known is that, in the 60 days prior to an election, if broadcasters sell or give time to one major political party candidate or its supporters, they must, by law, offer comparable time to the opposing major political party candidate or its supporters. (See Section 315a of the Communications Act and the Zapple Doctrine.)

I am a life long broadcaster who has held just about every position in the industry save GM. I am very acquainted with the FCC rules. For one thing yes there are equal time rules under certain circumstances, talk radio is not one of those circumstances an that time is granted to its supporters. Need proof, well here are those instances where equal time is afforded.

Section 315 [47 U.S.C. §315] Facilities for candidates for public office.
(a) If any licensee shall permit any person who is a legally qualified candidate for any public office to use a broadcasting station, he shall afford equal opportunities to all other such candidates for that office in the use of such broadcasting station: Provided, That such licensee shall have no power of censorship over the material broadcast under the provision of this section. No obligation is hereby imposed under this subsection upon any licensee to allow the use of its station by any such candidate. Appearance by a legally qualified candidate on any –
(1) bona fide newscast,
(2) bona fide news interview,
(3) bona fide news documentary (if the appearance of the candidate is incidental to the presentation of the subject or subjects covered by the news documentary), or
(4) on-the-spot coverage of bona fide news events
So newsflash Sue, talkshow hosts are NOT candidates and do NOT constitute time given to a political canadate.

There was a parallel provision that was repealed in the 80’s called the “fairness doctrine” but as Dan Fletcher at Time magazine points out, that did not apply to talk show hosts either!

The act is rooted in the media world of 1949, when lawmakers became concerned that by virtue of their near-stranglehold on nationwide TV broadcasting, the three main television networks — NBC, ABC and CBS — could misuse their broadcast licenses to set a biased public agenda. . . .
Both sides are likely overstating the doctrine’s import. Even if it were to return, liberals would have a hard time co-opting the Fairness Doctrine to limit conservative talk radio to the degree they might like. The FCC has never applied the Fairness Doctrine to a talk radio host, nor does the regulation force stations to give equal time for every perspective.



Of course people vote every day by engaging the RF filter in the first stage of their radio receiver (commonly known as the tuner) These votes are regularly recorded and published in what we in the business affectionately call “the book” which the public knows as the Arbitron. That vote even took place in your beloved “Peoples Republic of Madison” where you were soundly trounced.

By electing to tune into a conservative talk station I choose to hear views from that perspective. I choose who enters my home by virtue of that choice. What Mz Wilson proposes is that she has the right to force me to listen to her views.

Of course logic and reason escape these people, the people who elect to listen to conservative talk radio have already made up their mind. You people have already shown up at TEA Party events with your noisemakers and megaphones, how’s that working for you, get many converts. As my seventh grade science teacher use to say, “The empty barrel makes the most noise.” And what noise you people make. You remind me of the spoiled little kid in the store having a tantrum because mommy won’t buy you that toy. You think that if you get on a conservative talk show and you whine enough and make enough noise that you will make converts?

Of course your hypocracy is amazing. You make the claim of scarcity and that you lack an outlet to be heard.. Your words.

Broadcasting also differs from newspapers and cable in that the number of frequencies available in one community are few, so only a limited number of local stations are possible. Physical scarcity is the foundation of all broadcast law.

  1. In case you didn’t know it there are approximately 14,000 stations in the United States as opposed to how many cable stations? You see Mz Wilson all cable is provided via satellite delivery and that bandwidth is even more limited. So when you get your talking heads at MSNBC to give equal time and access to liberty minded TEA Party Libertarians such as myself, then and only then will I believe that you believe in equal access. When you demand that the likes of Mr Ed (the horses . . . Well you know) Shultz give equal time to the likes of Ron Paul or Gary Johnson, then and only then will you have any credibility.. When you get the Main Stream Media to treat us TEA party patriots with the same reverence as they do you Fleabaggers in the Occupy movement, well then and only then will you have any credibility. Until then you will come across as the spoiled little brats that you are, those that demand access to someone else’s time on someone else’s dime. And that your true goal is not the promotion of free speech, but to stifle opposing speech, but then we know your kind.

z

UPDATE

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