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View Diary: Republicans Already Scared of Hillary, Threaten NBC and CNN Over Movies (203 comments)

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  •  look at the four exceptions (0+ / 0-)

    it's hard to think of something that would not be covered by those exceptions

    Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
    Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 06:17:50 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Paid political spots are not exceptions. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TrueBlueMajority

      Neither are paid political program-length presentations.

      •  i still don't see (0+ / 0-)

        how a documentary would require allowing the other candidates equal time

        Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
        Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

        by TrueBlueMajority on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 03:24:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It depends upon whether the network (0+ / 0-)

          produces the documentary as a non-political news or public-affairs event, or whether some third party produces a program-length piece extolling the virtues of the candidate, and then that third party buys a block of time in which the program-length piece airs.

          If the piece is an infomercial that appears within a block of purchased time, that triggers equal opportunities.  Other candidates are entitled to buy equal amounts of time, at comparable or better rates.

          Example 1: The campaign of Candidate A purchases a half-hour of time on station WXYZ, and uses that half hour to broadcast an informercial extolling the virtues of Candidate A.  Candidate B demands equal opportunities.  WXYZ must sell a half-hour to Candidate B's campaign, in the same daypart as the half hour previously sold to Candidate A's campaign.  Both Candidate A and Candidate B must be charged the lowest unit rate.

          Example 2: An independent Political Action Committee purchases a half-hour of time on station WXYZ, and uses that half hour to broadcast an informercial extolling the virtues of Candidate A.  The campaign of Candidate A Candidate B demands equal opportunities.  WXYZ must sell a half-hour to Candidate B's campaign, in the same daypart as the half hour previously sold to the PAC.  Candidate B must be charged the lowest unit rate, but WXYZ can charge the PAC more than the lowest unit rate, because the PAC is independent of Candidate A's campaign.

          Whether or not equal opportunities are triggered depends on whether a qualified candidate uses a broadcast facility.  There is a whole body of law dealing with what constitutes a use by a candidate and what does not constitute a use.

          A candidate's appearance during a bona fide news broadcast does not constitute a use.  So, e.g., during the last Presidential campaign, if the NBC Nightly News had two minutes of coverage of a visit to the Jersey Shore by President Obama to tour the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, that would not be a use, and the Romney Campaign could not have made a demand for equal opportunities.

          A network's decision to carry a presidential debate between the two major-party candidates is considered a bona-fide news event and not a use.  Third-party candidates are not entitled to equal opportunities.

          •  a made for TV movie is obviously not (0+ / 0-)

            a third party produced work where a third party purchases time.

            nor is it an informercial, or a news broadcast.

            the documentary will not even have Hillary Clinton in it!  the candidate will not "use" the network and the candidate will not even appear!

            so i cannot see any way the planned documentary qualifies as requiring equal time.

            Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
            Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

            by TrueBlueMajority on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 06:22:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It never said that it would. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TrueBlueMajority

              For one thing, she is not a legally qualified candidate for public office.  She's not a candidate, period, because she has not declared her candidacy, has not filed any papers, etc.  It's too early for any of that.

              In an election season, a highly flattering biography with appearance by the actual candidate could be considered a use.

              What I said at the beginning of the thread is that there are still equal-time requirements, after someone else said that there were none.  Equal-time requirements still exist in the area of political broadcasting.  They are not related to the Fairness Doctrine, and never have been.  The two are often confused, similar to the confusion between the theological doctrines of the RCC, the Immaculate Conception (of Mary) and the Virgin Birth (of Jesus).

              •  Also, (0+ / 0-)

                the Fairness Doctrine never required equal time.  The Fairness Doctrine required broadcast stations to provide reasonable opportunities for responsible spokespeople to provide contrasting viewpoints on controversial issues of public importance.  But there was no minute-for-minute, tit-for-tat requirement.

                Now, there is a lot that one can criticize when it comes to the statute (Section 315 of the Communications Act, and a related provision in Section 312) and in the rules and policies of the FCC that deal with political broadcasting.  The fact that Fox News can act essentially as an arm of the Republican Party shows that the equal-opportunities provision contains a loophole large enough to fly a 747 through.  And although the lowest-unit-rate provisions do lessen the costs of direct purchases of airtime by candidates, it still requires a huge amount of money to run a competitive campaign for elective offices, especially federal office.  But even school-board races have become insanely expensive.  And the effects of Citizens United make a pathetic joke out of much of Section 315 and the political-broadcasting rules of the FCC.

                The flip side is that government regulation of media content is a slippery slope, and that if there are independent media, different viewpoints will be aired.  Unregulated media outlets on the Internet can be a great equalizer.  And the internet is shaking up the traditional media landscape in some very fundamental respects.  This is especially true with respect to the younger generations.  They do not see traditional media as the arbiters of truth, and as the only alternatives for getting information.

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