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Candidates and Equal TIme

From: Larry Burriss
Length: 02:37

Candidates and Section 315 Read the full description.

Default-piece-image-2 Candidates 01/14/2008 Quick, answer this question: how many candidates are there running for president? For extra credit, how many candidates are republicans and how many are democrats? Do you have the answer? Well, if you said anything but none, you?d be wrong. That?s right, there are no candidates. At this point there are presidential hopefuls, presidential contenders and presidential wanna-be?s. But there won?t be any candidates until after the nominating conventions later this year. So why is that important? Well, it seems a lot of people, including some of the contenders, have complained to the Federal Communications Commission about something called the Equal Time provision of the Communications Act. Under Section 3-15, if a station offers time to one candidate, it must offer time to all other candidates for the same office. In other words, if there is an election for city dog catcher, and a station offers free time to one candidate, it must make a similar offer to all other candidates for dog catcher. If the station offers to sell time to one presidential candidate, it must make a similar offer to every other candidate for president. It?s also important to note that the Section 3-15 rules do not apply to newscasts or talk shows. But at this point there aren?t any candidates, so stations are pretty much free to treat the contenders any way they want. Which is what happened when Dennis Kucinich was excluded from a debate on the A-B-C- network a week or so ago. Notice also that the rules do not apply to print media. A newspaper can editorialize as much as it wants about this or that candidate, and does not have to make an offer of equal space to the other candidate. It must also be said that most stations and newspapers are fair about how they cover candidates and other contenders. If a station runs a news story about one candidate, they will probably run a similar story about the other candidate. And newspaper op-ed pages routinely give space to anyone who has a reasonable chance of winning an election. There have been efforts made to repeal Section 3-15, and other efforts to make the rules apply to newspapers. But there is no real reason to have the broadcasting equal time provisions, and there is likewise no way to force newspapers to be totally equal in the amount of space they devote to this or that candidate. As we get closer and closer to election day, you can bet the complaints about media bias will increase. But, of course you think the media are biased, but only against your particular candidate. I?m Larry Burriss.

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Piece Description

Candidates 01/14/2008 Quick, answer this question: how many candidates are there running for president? For extra credit, how many candidates are republicans and how many are democrats? Do you have the answer? Well, if you said anything but none, you?d be wrong. That?s right, there are no candidates. At this point there are presidential hopefuls, presidential contenders and presidential wanna-be?s. But there won?t be any candidates until after the nominating conventions later this year. So why is that important? Well, it seems a lot of people, including some of the contenders, have complained to the Federal Communications Commission about something called the Equal Time provision of the Communications Act. Under Section 3-15, if a station offers time to one candidate, it must offer time to all other candidates for the same office. In other words, if there is an election for city dog catcher, and a station offers free time to one candidate, it must make a similar offer to all other candidates for dog catcher. If the station offers to sell time to one presidential candidate, it must make a similar offer to every other candidate for president. It?s also important to note that the Section 3-15 rules do not apply to newscasts or talk shows. But at this point there aren?t any candidates, so stations are pretty much free to treat the contenders any way they want. Which is what happened when Dennis Kucinich was excluded from a debate on the A-B-C- network a week or so ago. Notice also that the rules do not apply to print media. A newspaper can editorialize as much as it wants about this or that candidate, and does not have to make an offer of equal space to the other candidate. It must also be said that most stations and newspapers are fair about how they cover candidates and other contenders. If a station runs a news story about one candidate, they will probably run a similar story about the other candidate. And newspaper op-ed pages routinely give space to anyone who has a reasonable chance of winning an election. There have been efforts made to repeal Section 3-15, and other efforts to make the rules apply to newspapers. But there is no real reason to have the broadcasting equal time provisions, and there is likewise no way to force newspapers to be totally equal in the amount of space they devote to this or that candidate. As we get closer and closer to election day, you can bet the complaints about media bias will increase. But, of course you think the media are biased, but only against your particular candidate. I?m Larry Burriss.

Transcript

Candidates
01/14/2008

Quick, answer this question: how many candidates are there running for president? For extra credit, how many candidates are republicans and how many are democrats?
Do you have the answer? Well, if you said anything but none, you?d be wrong. That?s right, there are no candidates. At this point there are presidential hopefuls, presidential contenders and presidential wanna-be?s. But there won?t be any candidates until after the nominating conventions later this year.
So why is that important?
Well, it seems a lot of people, including some of the contenders, have complained to the Federal Communications Commission about something called the Equal Time provision of the Communications Act.
Under Section 3-15, if a station offers time to one candidate, it must offer time to all other candidates for the same office. In other words, i...
Read the full transcript

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