How do the FCC equal time rules work? Who has to follow the rules? Do stations have to give equal time to all canidates running for governor in California? Is this even possible?
There was a story in the local paper yesterday, describing a few unique scenarios in all of this. For instance, if a California broadcast station (cable stations don’t have to follow this rule) showed an airing of an Arnie movie (or an episode of Different Stokes (Gary Coleman is running) or a particular SNL episode (Father Guido Sarducci is running) or, I suppose, a particular porn movie (Mary Carey is running)), then the other candidates would be able to apply for equal time on that station, in a similar timeslot. ALL the other candidates would be eligible, but they have to file paperwork within so many days of the original broadcast, etc.
They don’t have to give it to them. Just offer the time under thier normal terms. If Ah_nul_du pays for a one hour time slot infomercial on channel 4, Gary Colman would also be allowed to buy a one hour infomercial for the same price, but he wouldn’t it for free just because Ah_nul_du was on for an hour.
Since very few of the people running have the money to buy extensive air time, it’s unlikely to be a problem.
I’m sure the intent was to prevent the networks from having undue power in the campaining process by only showing support for a single candidate.
Ok, but now I read it’s a different story when the airtime is for showing entertainment programming. So, uh, nevermind.