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NorCal Radio Station Refuses to Run Yes on 8 False Advertising

Timothy Kincaid

October 29th, 2008

Per the Eureka Times-Standard, KHUM radio decided not to run an ad supporting Proposition 8

”It really had to do with the content of the ad itself, and not the issue,” KHUM General Manager Patrick Cleary said of his decision not to run the advertisement. “I think they were saying that they were going to be teaching homosexuality in kindergarten. It was a fear-mongering ad, and we sent it back and asked them to re-submit a different one.”

This is not a decision that was without sacrifice

Trask said it is very rare for the station to turn down an advertisement, as KHUM has a tight operating budget and needs all the revenue it can get.

”We’re not really in the financial position to turn down advertising,” he said. “Generally speaking, when people approach us to buy advertising content, we sell it to them.”

They offered to run an ad that dealt with the real issues of the case and was not based on fear tactics and falsehood but the Yes on 8 Campaign had no interest in pursuing such advertising.

I wish that more media would place civic responsibility above profit and refuse to run advertising that is blatantly false and intentionally deceptive, no matter the campaign, candidate, or issue. But, if they did that, poor Yes on 8 would have none of their commercials on the air.

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AJD
October 29th, 2008 | LINK

I often write about the FTC going after drug companies for making misleading claims in their advertising as part of my job, and I’ve always wondered: If you have to be 100 percent honest when advertising a product, then why shouldn’t you have to be 100 percent honest when advertising a political cause?

The thinking is that an Adam Smith-style invisible hand sorts this all out in the “marketplace of ideas,” but that invisible hand often isn’t there. Prop. 8 is an excellent example: Much of its support comes from its ability to tell one lie after another and the gullibility of the people who believe those lies because of their underlying biases. If Prop. 8 does pass, it’s logical to presume that it will have passed because of its proponents ability to lie with impunity.

I think there should be a law against lying in political advertisements. If it’s not a violation of the First Amendment to ban lying in product ads because of the potential effects of people using unsafe products, then I don’t see why it would violate the First Amendment to ban lying in political ads, considering the damage a ballot initiative or constitutional amendment can potentially cause.

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