Dem Primary Opponents Want Equal Time

The candidates are using the FCC’s equal-time rule to push MSNBC into giving them airtime.

Add to Briefcase
Drew Gerber
March 6, 2018, 11:11 a.m.

Following former MSNBC host Dylan Ratigan’s (D) “appearance on national television last week, Democratic candidates are appealing to MSNBC for equal time.” Adirondack North Country Association Deputy Director Emily Martz (D) “said she reached out to the network for an invitation and was dismissed following Ratigan’s entry on ‘The Beat with Ari Melber’ last Monday.”

“The Federal Communication Commission’s equal-time rule requires that radio and television broadcast stations must provide an ‘equivalent opportunity to any opposing political candidates who request it.’ Stations aren’t required to give away free time, but must make time available to all candidates on equal terms if requested. ‘Bona fide’ news interviews are exempt from the rule — and so are cable networks. Several other candidates have reached out to the network to probe their options,” including environmental attorney Don Boyajian (D), businesswoman Katie Wilson (D), and former Bernie Sanders delegate Patrick Nelson (D).

Nelson: “We are looking into the particulars of equal time. However, even if it is not illegal, it is still an unfair advantage over the other candidates.”

“Melber, who disclosed he was both Ratigan’s former colleague and counted him as a friend, didn’t respond to an email asking him if he invited Ratigan’s primary opponents onto the show. But he noted on the program that he invited” incumbent Rep. Elise Stefanik (R) “to participate in the program.” (Champlain Valley Sun Community News)


Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.