In Sue Wilson’s blog Standing up for Our Rights in Radio – in Wisconsin and beyond
And my response here.
Mz Wilson had the following response;
WI Broadcasters Assn knows the rules, don’t you? (1+ / 0-)
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See pages 5 and 6.
By the way, I have been a broadcaster – a NEWS broadcaster since 1987. Emmy’s, AP, RTNDA awards… I do get things right.
Yes Sue I do! I will not get into the licensing of broadcasting, I will just say that mine predates yours. I have held both a First Class and a Second Class License that was converted to a lifetime General Class in 1983 when broadcasters were required to pass both a test in electronics and a test on FCC rules. For a complete history of licensing it can be found here.
First talk radio is by it’s very nature “opinion radio” (you get the opinion of the host) which is why at the beginning of a broadcast you usually get the disclaimer “The views and opinions expressed in this show do not necessarily reflect the views of the station”. Opinion based radio does not constitute political speech.
You conveniently ignore the fact that on page four (of your document) section C The equal opportunities requirement applies to “legally qualified candidates” and section D that only opposing candidates are afforded equal time.
You also conveniently ignore the fact that there are exemptions to this which include, newscasts, interviews (where the producer exercises sufficient control to prevent the candidate from taking control) Pg 3 of your document.
Andrew defended you with the following comment.
Look again, Marshall (0+ / 0-)
See page 5, Section F: The Zapple Doctrine.
Read the full section F.
Then you’ll realize that Sue is correct. Equal access also applies to supporters of the candidates.
Again sorry Andrew, you misinterpret the meaning, if you can show that a station sells time to supporters of the opposition they have to sell you time. It does not give you free time or equal time, nor do they have to give you the best rate possible as required for the candidates. If they find one single lie in your ad they also can refuse to air it as they can be libel as shown from my link.
From the blog of a FCC atty;
First, the need for broadcasters to vet the truth of allegations made in political ads sponsored by non-candidate advertisers. As we have written before(see our post here), the political broadcasting rules enforced by the FCC allow broadcasters to run ads sponsored by the candidates themselves without fear of any liability for the claims made in those ads. In fact, the Communications Act forbids a station from censoring a candidate ad. Because the station cannot censor the candidate ad (except in the exceptionally rare situation where the airing of the ad might violate a Federal felony statute), the broadcaster has no liability for the contents of the ad. So candidates can say whatever they want about each other – they can even lie through their teeth – and the broadcaster need not fear any liability for defamation based on the contents of those ads.
This is not the case for third party ads as he further writes.
This is not so for ads run by third parties – like PACs, Right to Life groups, labor unions, unincorporated associations like MoveOn.org and, after the Citizens United case, corporations.
Stations are not required to accept third party ads and, even where these ads address a candidate, the station has full rights to accept or reject the ads based on the ad’s content (perhaps subject to Zapple discussed below). However, because the station can choose whether or not to run the ad, the station can also be held liable for the content of those ads. While the standard for liability under the rules of defamation are very high for public figures such as a political candidate, there still can be liability if the station runs an ad with “malice“, meaning that they either know that the content of the ad is false, or run it with reckless disregard of the truth of the claims made (where those claims later prove to be false)
Now if you want to see where the Zapple doctrine applies;
The Zapple case, as we wrote here and here, held that where supporters of a candidate are allowed to buy time on a station, supporters of the opposing candidate should also be allowed to buy roughly equivalent amounts of time. While the remainder of the Fairness Doctrine has been declared by the FCC or by the Courts to be unconstitutional over the last 25 years, Zapple has never been officially overturned.
So you see, unless you can show that the station denied you the right to buy equal time that they sold the opposition and that your ads were not fraudulent you have no case! Period.