"You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it; and those who brought war into our country deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out." - William Tecumseh Sherman

Name: The General
Location: Sacramento, California, United States

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Friday, October 29, 2004
  Free Speech Means Equal Airtime
An awful story happening in my neck of the woods is being reported by the AP:
A gift of free air time to GOP candidates from a Fresno-area broadcaster drew challenges on several fronts Thursday, as Democrats tried to stop the ads from running in key areas before Tuesday's election.

Attorneys representing Assemblywoman Nicole Parra, D-Hanford, filed a formal complaint with the Federal Communications Commission arguing that Pappas Telecasting Cos. violated federal equal time rules by offering free time to GOP Assembly candidate Dean Gardner of Bakersfield — but not to Parra.

Parra's lawyers also filed a complaint with the state's Fair Political Practices Commission, saying Pappas' offer of $25,000 in free radio and TV air time made to 13 county GOP committees violate contribution limits, among other regulations.
I wonder how long it will take for this idea of "fairness" in broadcasting to branch out from the "political" arena into other sectors. And how long it will be before it infects discretionary choices in progamming ("You're paying Rush Limbaugh to host a show, you should also be paying Al Franken!"). God this is depressing. Does anyone ever try to imagine what it would be like to speak with the lawyer who filed the complaint to the FCC?
 
 POSTED BY THE GENERAL AT 5:25 PM


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