Equal T.V. time

As I was waiting for my car’s oil change and watching T.V., I noticed that in the two hours I was there (sigh - way too long for an oil change) that the local Fox affiliate was showing anti-Obama ads, but no anti-McCain or pro-Obama ads. I had it in my pea-brain somewhere that the media is supposed to allow equal time to both parties.

Is that correct? I could see where I could be wrong (happens more than I’d like). Or is there more to it? Is it possible for a station to air one party’s ads at one time of day and another party’s at a different time? Do the stations even have to offer the time (that is, to they have an obligation to tell one party that the other has purchased x number of minutes of ad time?) and offer to let them purchase an equal amount?

As far as I know, networks are required to make available equal time to both candidates, but it is up to the candidates to purchase whatever ad time they please. Obama’s campaign apparently decided that they would prefer to spend their advertising dollars elsewhere.

According to a reputable Boston radio talk show says the same as above, the candidates just have to make time available to both candidates. It doesn’t have to end up being equal.

I suspected it was something like that; guess I was just suspicious of Fox’s neutrality.

It’s more likely that the Obama campaign doesn’t think the audience for Fox News is likely to respond to pro-Obama ads and prefers to spend its money somewhere else.

But yes, if a broadcast (not cable) station accepts an ad from one candidate for office, by law it has to accept ads from all candidates for that office. If they give one candidate free air time, they have to offer equivalent free air time (not prime time vs. 3:00 a.m.) to other candidates. Candidates don’t have to accept.