I tell you, it seems no matter how bad the Democrats get in terms of campaign thuggery, Republican Senator Ted Stevens never seems to have any trouble helping the GOP keep up with the Joneses. Yea, verily, a bloated paragon of venality and shady-eyed depravity!
In Alaska earlier this month, radio ads hit the airwaves trumpeting the allegation that Sen. Ted Stevens received a sweetheart trade-in deal on a new Land Rover. An Alaska law firm representing the Republican senator quickly fired off letters to stations around the state demanding they stop running an ad it said was “factually incorrect and a gross distortion of the real facts.”…
While some stations buckle under the pressure and drop the ads, most refuse. “I think candidates want us to become the censors,” says Mike Burgess, general manager of KOB, the NBC affiliate in Albuquerque. “I don’t think that’s our job.” The station has already received a handful of letters requesting ad takedowns this political season.
The article also says:
While no one tracks the number of legal notices broadcasters receive on political ads, station managers and lawyers say attempts to block ads are growing both in number and intensity, particularly in states with closely contested elections.
I’d like someone to start clocking and documenting this trend. If nothing else, when officeholders finally face the prospect of a track record of state-sanctioned harassment of TV and radio stations, it may make them think twice about abusing the legal system to harass legitimate broadcasters (or at least limit their itchy C&D-letter fingers to complaints that actually have legs).
As for Senator Stevens (hopefully soon to be Citizen Stevens, then Inmate Stevens)…enjoy prison, Senator. You won’t be missed.