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FCC To Require TV Stations To Post Rates For Campaign Ads

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the dollars-and-sense dept.

The Internet 106

bs0d3 writes "The FCC has voted to require broadcast TV stations to post online advertising rates they charge political candidates and advocacy groups. The vote came despite strong opposition from many broadcasters. 'By law, television stations offer political candidates advertising rates that are much lower than those offered to other advertisers.' Advocates argue the public should have easy access to information about how much candidates and other groups are spending on television to suck in voters. 'Network-affiliated stations in the top 50 markets will have six months to comply. For all others, the deadline is 2014.'"

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Google should be included too (-1, Offtopic)

TechnicalExpert (2628135) | more than 2 years ago | (#39836437)

Political candidates use Google Adwords to bid on keywords and search queries that they think will get their votes up. Google is directly both providing astroturfing platform for politicians and making money off the scheme. Just like they did with rogue prescription advertisers [cnn.com] and promptly ignored responsibility as long as they got the money. In fact, since Google provides system that is capable to target people significantly better than TV ads they should be looked at and dealt with first.

Internet search giant Google is bracing for a fine that could top $500 million, after a federal probe of illegal online pharmacy ads placed on the website over the past three years, CNN has confirmed.

Law enforcement sources tell CNN that federal prosecutors in Rhode Island, along with undercover agents from the Food and Drug Administration, are heading up a massive investigation aimed at showing Google knowingly took advertising money from websites selling highly addictive drugs without a legitimate prescription.

Just outstanding...

America has the best government money can buy... (2)

SpzToid (869795) | more than 2 years ago | (#39836551)

...so it is only logical someone needs to be there to sell it. Google. Fox News. And so on. The U.S. Government (U.S. capitol-ism) is a business with all the implied stakeholders that defines capitalism.

Re:America has the best government money can buy.. (1)

Spy Handler (822350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39836823)

they should just pay the voters directly.

I mean, it's still the same thing, politicians buying votes with money, but at least that way I get some of it, instead of TV stations (i.e. corporations) getting all the money.

Re:America has the best government money can buy.. (4, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 2 years ago | (#39836941)

they should just pay the voters directly

They do. If you're a minority they call it EBT.

If you're white they call it earned income tax credit.

If you're old, they call it Medicare and they call it prescription drug benefits.

They promise to tweak one or those or the others depending on which votes they're lacking in the current campaign. But the old people seem the most popular.

Re:America has the best government money can buy.. (2)

Dragon Bait (997809) | more than 2 years ago | (#39837187)

They promise to tweak one or those or the others depending on which votes they're lacking in the current campaign. But the old people seem the most popular.

Old people are the most popular because old people are most likely to vote.

The under 20 crowd is the least likely to vote, so deficit spending is okay (and deficit spending is going to negatively impact the under 20 crowd the most).

Re:America has the best government money can buy.. (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 2 years ago | (#39837895)

Old people have more time on their hands to come to rally for your opponent.

Re:America has the best government money can buy.. (2)

ooshna (1654125) | more than 2 years ago | (#39837191)

Your ignorant. If your poor they call it EBT, if your middle class, they call it earned income credit, if your old they call it Medicare, and if your rich its called tax breaks.

Re:America has the best government money can buy.. (2)

burningcpu (1234256) | more than 2 years ago | (#39837831)

"Your ignorant" Lol.

Re:America has the best government money can buy.. (3, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 2 years ago | (#39838213)

You're ignorant. If you're poor they call it EBT,

I was going to bring this up as well.
Misinformation like "welfare is for minorities" exists only because certain groups are playing racial politics.

The majority of Americans on welfare benefits are white.
The majority of Americans on medicaid are white.

Just so everyone understands this:
As a percentage of their demographic, more minorities are using government support programs.
As a percentage of the population, more white people are using government support programs.

Re:America has the best government money can buy.. (1)

ibsteve2u (1184603) | more than 2 years ago | (#39839595)

Reality isn't politically expedient.

Re:America has the best government money can buy.. (1)

andymadigan (792996) | about 2 years ago | (#39849125)

I get none of those, what do you call that?

Re:America has the best government money can buy.. (2, Insightful)

BlueStrat (756137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39837389)

The U.S. Government (U.S. capitol-ism) is a business with all the implied stakeholders that defines crony-fascism.

FTFY to more-accurately reflect reality. BTW, it isn't limited to one political party either, so this is not a partisan attack. A pox on both their houses in this case.

Strat

Re:America has the best government money can buy.. (1)

necro81 (917438) | more than 2 years ago | (#39844189)

The overwhelming majority of political advertisement spending, while coordinated nationally, is spent on local affiliates. So if you want to annoyed, go after the station managers of WXYZ-TV in Your Town, America, who will gladly take the advertising money from all sides and assault your ears and eyes for the next six months.

Or you could simply turn off the damn TV.

Re:Google should be included too (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39836561)

TechnicalExpert = TechNY = TechLA = Bonch = Sharklaser & ad nauseum = Burson Marsteller = Facebook = Microsoft.

This discussion has been contaminated by reputation management experts.

Treat any posting here with contempt and ridicule, even those appearing sincere. They are all participating in the gaming and consequent destruction of tech discussion sites.

Do not contribute to these poisoned topics.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-05-12/facebook-enlists-pr-firm-burson-marsteller-to-pitch-google-privacy-story.html [bloomberg.com]
http://articles.businessinsider.com/2011-05-12/tech/30002042_1_burson-marsteller-burson-marsteller-facebook [businessinsider.com]

Re:Google should be included too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39836693)

If this is true, they're seriously wasting their time. And whoever is paying them is wasting money, too.

Seriously, why the fuck would people come to Slashdot for that nonsense? They think they're going to persuade anyone? Highly unlikely.

Re:Google should be included too (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39836565)

Oh hai thar, TechNY [slashdot.org] /TechLA [slashdot.org] /WhoeverYouWereLastWeek with your random jabs at Google at the same minute as the article goes live. Funny seeing you speaking about astroturfing.

And how exactly short plain text ads clearly marked as such are an "astroturfing platform"? Astroturfing is pushing your employer's agenda without disclosing your affiliation - kinda like you do.

Re:Google should be included too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39843649)

My guess is that they are all sock-puppets of bonch. It fits his/her modus operandi, but I think Bonch now prefers to balance his/her views and use sock puppets instead to get the same effect.

Misleading (5, Informative)

ral315 (741081) | more than 2 years ago | (#39836487)

This is technically true, but that's not the story. The story isn't that the rates will be available, it's that we'll know how much candidates spend, and where they're spending it.

The rates themselves are, by law, the lowest rate that the stations charge (to avoid stations charging different rates based on whether they support that candidate) - so that's not really that informative. It's actually knowing that Candidate X purchased 800 points of TV time in Market A and 1200 points in Market B that is interesting. Currently, this information is available, but only by driving to the stations during business hours to view them, which is of course not very useful.

Re:Misleading (2)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 2 years ago | (#39836581)

The rates themselves are, by law, the lowest rate that the stations charge (to avoid stations charging different rates based on whether they support that candidate)

In this line: in how far are stations allowed to accept/reject certain ads?

For starters they have limited time in which to put advertisements (is there any regulation on that in the US? Such as no more than so many minutes per hour for ads on a TV channel?). So one candidate may simply buy up all advertising slots, and bring a few five-minute ads every hour.

Secondly I know advertisements are sometimes rejected based on "objectional content" - content or a product that the media channel doesn't agree with or whatever.

Re:Misleading (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 2 years ago | (#39836707)

So one candidate may simply buy up all advertising slots, and bring a few five-minute ads every hour.

Though this seems like a strategic move, most (if not all) stations would recognize this as something that would drive viewers to change the channel. If I saw a long ad from <insert candidate's name here> I would find something else to watch. If I saw that ad showing up regularly I wouldn't go back to that station until the primary or general election was over.

Candidates know that there is a fine line between wooing voters and pissing them off. It is not in their best interests to be identified as that candidate.

Some stations speed up, reduce or even remove credits from TV shows and/or movies just to be able to squeeze in one or two more commercials during a time slot. Some TV shows are cut down slightly when they go into syndication so more commercials can be shown. And let's not forget those irritating ads that overlay the current show - sometimes in a bottom corner and sometimes swooping in in an attempt top attack your attention.

Re:Misleading (2)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 2 years ago | (#39836929)

The rates themselves are, by law, the lowest rate that the stations charge (to avoid stations charging different rates based on whether they support that candidate)

In this line: in how far are stations allowed to accept/reject certain ads?

For starters they have limited time in which to put advertisements (is there any regulation on that in the US? Such as no more than so many minutes per hour for ads on a TV channel?). So one candidate may simply buy up all advertising slots, and bring a few five-minute ads every hour.

Secondly I know advertisements are sometimes rejected based on "objectional content" - content or a product that the media channel doesn't agree with or whatever.

In the US, any qualified candidate (such as being on a ballot) has the right to run uncensored ads at the lowest available rate, as defined by US law and FCC rules. That doesn't mean he or she can buy up all the ad time - there are equal access rules to prevent that nor does a station have to sell them a spot for any specific broadcast, so a station can refuse to run an ad during the Super Bowl (as one did recently), they only have to provide "reasonable" access.

Of course, someone could get on the ballot and then basically run what ever ads they want; and if a state has easy ballot access laws someone could game the system.

Re:Misleading (1)

ATMAvatar (648864) | more than 2 years ago | (#39838405)

I'm waiting for a candidate to comes along and do campaign ads involving a ton of blatant product placement. The only thing I'm not sure about is whether the first will be a genuine candidate trying to offset campaign fees or if it is a clever corporation that puts up a fake candidate for cheaper advertising rates.

Re:Misleading (4, Interesting)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 2 years ago | (#39836895)

Currently, this information is available, but only by driving to the stations during business hours to view them, which is of course not very useful.

That is really the key point of this rule - it makes the information easily accessible; something it currently isn't. A recent NPR piece on this vote pointed out that stations can charge copying fees and one charged 50 cents per page which limits availability from both an access an economic perspective.

At least broadcasters are being honest by saying they don't want their best prices to be too public because it will cost them money. OTOH, if I bought ad space i'd take the time to get this info from any stations where I was doing a buy so I could see how much of a premium they were demanding and try to negotiate a lower rate. I would not be surprised if some companies already do that; this just males it easier and potentially more wide spread.

Odd sounding argument (3, Interesting)

Tim Ward (514198) | more than 2 years ago | (#39836511)

"'By law, television stations offer political candidates advertising rates that are much lower than those offered to other advertisers"

This sounds really bizarre to those of us who live in places where, by law, television statements may not carry political advertising.

We sort-of have this theory that elections should be won, not bought. But only sort-of, mind, because money obviously still makes a difference. In my council ward for example I'm not allowed to spend more than a few hundred pounds getting elected - this is trivial for me, I just write a cheque, but it could be a struggle for others.

Re:Odd sounding argument (2)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 2 years ago | (#39836525)

if you lower the price, then you level the playing field. If campaigns had to pay full price for political ads, then it really would be about who could raise the most money. (it still sort of is, but maybe slightly less so because of this law)

Although right now we just saturate the airwaves with political ads, until everyone gets sick of it and refuses to vote out of protest for the annoyance it causes.

Re:Odd sounding argument (4, Informative)

Tim Ward (514198) | more than 2 years ago | (#39836589)

"if you lower the price, then you level the playing field"

Well yes, in the UK the price is zero for this reason, but the amount of free time that the TV channels have to give to the candidates is limited to a few minutes - that's a few minutes for the whole campaign, not per day or per hour!

People still get sick of the ads, sorry "party political broadcasts", and nobody much watches them apart from other politicians.

Re:Odd sounding argument (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39836779)

Here it's the same, and I love that time. Since every party including those who are just a guy and his family get airtime, there's some extremely funny stuff. I feel like I'm watching the Royle Family doing a political ad.

Re:Odd sounding argument (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#39839725)

Funny (in the peculiar not the har-har sense) you should mention that. The guy out of the Royle Family appeared on some PPBs for some obscure leftist rabble a few years back.

Despite being a professional actor he came over like a sack of mouldy wool. I wonder if he was taking the piss.

Re:Odd sounding argument (1)

ooshna (1654125) | more than 2 years ago | (#39837217)

I work in a nursing home and my father is in one and let me tell you some seniors hang on to those ads like they are the god's honest truth. And damn do I wish i could block fox news on my dad's TV to hear him repeating Beck's rhetoric made my heart sink.

Re:Odd sounding argument (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39838229)

Um...yeah... you do realize that Beck isn't on Fox anymore right? You may want to update your false scenarios to keep with the times. Or is it just that all white men look alike to you, so you don't realize who it was that was on?

Captcha: Cognac

Re:Odd sounding argument (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39838391)

Sentence is past tense. Your post is either blind emotional-reactionary or pathetic troll.

Re:Odd sounding argument (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39838529)

Past tense, retard. Get the fuck out of my country.

Re:Odd sounding argument (4, Insightful)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 2 years ago | (#39836593)

Lowering the price doesn't necessarily level the playing field.

It allows candidates with smaller budgets to enter the game, but it also allows bigger budgets to simply buy more advertising time.

The only way leveling the playing field in this would be to 1) prohibit political commercials and 2) oblige TV stations to set aside a certain time for political broadcasts, that is then shared equally between the various parties/candidates that participate in an election. This way every single candidate has their say 15 minutes of TV time, and all have the same amount of time to spread their views.

Re:Odd sounding argument (4, Insightful)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 2 years ago | (#39836727)

The only way leveling the playing field in this would be to 1) prohibit political commercials and 2) oblige TV stations to set aside a certain time for political broadcasts, that is then shared equally between the various parties/candidates that participate in an election. This way every single candidate has their say 15 minutes of TV time, and all have the same amount of time to spread their views.

This won't level the playing field. The Incumbent always has the opportunity to try to bribe voters with a new law giving them a tax break of some sort. Which proposed new law, even if it never becomes an actual law, gets the Incumbent's name on the Evening News, and the morning talk shows, and the newspapers, and that sort of thing.

All of which is free publicity.

Eliminating political advertising altogether (which would pretty much require repeal of the First Amendment) would just make sure that the only political candidates you ever heard mentioned would be the incumbents....

Re:Odd sounding argument (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39836957)

nice

Re:Odd sounding argument (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39836999)

You can see this system at work in Japan if some one out there doesn't believe the parent.

Re:Odd sounding argument (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 2 years ago | (#39837647)

Actually I don't know of any country other than the US that allows this political advertising. And those democracies do just fine. Having a free media is important of course; one that will not only publish info abotu the incumbent but also the views of the opposition.

And actually in my experience free newspapers tend to be critical of the government, and that way providing lots of this "free publicity" for the opposition.

Re:Odd sounding argument (1)

sincewhen (640526) | more than 2 years ago | (#39841545)

Here in Australia, once an election is called, the government and public service go into "caretaker mode" which means no more lawmaking and public servants being extra careful to remain neutral.

Re:Odd sounding argument (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | about 2 years ago | (#39846821)

In the US the public servants are generally neutral. In a bureaucracy it is best not to rock the boat when your position is not an elected post because you get a new boss every election cycle.

Re:Odd sounding argument (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39839737)

Communist.

Re:Odds against intelligent decisions (1)

hoboroadie (1726896) | more than 2 years ago | (#39839881)

They've integrated it with major cutbacks in any education which might encourage (quel horreur) critical thinking, also.
How convenient.

Re:Odds against intelligent decisions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39841309)

I don't know what public school you're talking about that encourages critical thinking. That's what they're there to prevent. (Read John Taylor Gatto's online book for the research.)

Superpac funders and common sence. (5, Interesting)

anthony_greer (2623521) | more than 2 years ago | (#39836513)

I like this but I wish the FEC would grow a pair and make PACs and SuperPacs identify their donation sources. Tehy all have these cutesy names that mean nothing, you will hear things like "this ad paid for by Americans for an America in the tradition of Apple Pie and Chevrolet PAC" but for all you know that money could be coming from some oil man who just wants to have a friendly white house to his needs. Its no different than bill naming, if you want to take away freedoms and civil libertarians get upset, just call it the prevent terrorism and child porn act and they will shut up...

The problem is also education, that is to say that so many people, after receiving a k-12 education in the US are so fucking stupid that they just believe the crap in these ads and propaganda in general, some critical thinking amongst the 90 percent who just go all out blindly for one party or the other would solve many of our issues.

Technocracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39836529)

Well if everyone is so fucking stupid then perhaps we should switch to a Technocratic-oligarchy instead of a Democracy. There have been several times in US history where powerful people suggested we discourage the stupid masses from being involved in democratic elections.

Re:Technocracy (4, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39836709)

Well if everyone is so fucking stupid then perhaps we should switch to a Technocratic-oligarchy instead of a Democracy. There have been several times in US history where powerful people suggested we discourage the stupid masses from being involved in democratic elections.

With "the stupid masses" defined as "anyone who disagrees with me"?

Re:Technocracy (1)

anthony_greer (2623521) | more than 2 years ago | (#39838981)

Not what I meant, I meant the kind of people who near robot like vote for the Republican or Democratic ticket in every election. the kind of people who cant ever give concrete answers, ideas like "I voted for X because he wants change in Washington!" What does that mean exactly? what changes that the candidate proposed do they like? Its kinda funny and sad how many people get offended at that most basic question and think I am a racist if asking it about President Obama, and that I am some sort of socialist if I ask the same thing about Mitt Romney. My favorite is one that I heard specifically in a recent campaign to fill Evan Bayh's seat in the Senate here in Indiana, saying "I am voting for candidate x because he is a Washington outsider" when the candidate in question had been a Washington based lobbyist since losing his last elected office like 15-20 years before.

I love spirited disagreement with political opposites, a thoughtful conversation is a great thing to have, my comment was directed at the alarmingly large number of mouth breathers on whom these political ads work.

Re:Technocracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39839369)

I don't know what that last guy means but I know that a lot of the problems with our voting system is that people vote who are not well informed or are misinformed. There should be a test before you vote on an issue. You should have to prove that you understand the ramifications of your decision and the pro's and con's of both sides. Just voting on party lines or voting on yes or no to something because "the people on the TV told me to" should not be allowed.

or maybe honesty in superpac naming (2)

anthony_greer (2623521) | more than 2 years ago | (#39836541)

just had a crazy idea, require honest names for superpacs, like "Halliburton execs for Romney" or "Goldman Sachs managers for Obama"

Re:or maybe honesty in superpac naming (3, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39836711)

just had a crazy idea, require honest names for superpacs, like "Halliburton execs for Romney" or "Goldman Sachs managers for Obama"

"Rich donors for the Rich"

Re:or maybe honesty in superpac naming (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 2 years ago | (#39836725)

just had a crazy idea, require honest names for superpacs, like "Halliburton execs for Romney" or "Goldman Sachs managers for Obama"

Or "Earth slaves who hate Kang for Kodos"? ;-)

Re:or maybe honesty in superpac naming (3, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#39836807)

Won't work and here is why: Shell corps, which the USA really doesn't do little if anything to regulate. You see all GS or Halliburton would do is set up a dummy corp called "Freedom for the free' or some other bullshit name, bounce the money through two or three shell corps before it got to FFTF and voila! same problem we have now.

Personally i have serious doubts anything can be done about the system until it collapses which i truly believe is inevitable now. The corruption is just too deep and too entrenched and any solutions would cause loss of power to those top 5% who frankly won't stand for it. Instead what we will see is BOTH sides grabbing more and more power for themselves, BOTH sides giving away money to their masters as fast as they can, and BOTH sides making sure the printing presses spin like tops.

So I'm sorry friend and as much as the few optimists left like to call me a bastard for saying this I believe it to be true nonetheless, the only thing you can do now is grab as much for you and yours as you can and try to be as ready as you can be for the fall. Some have said that attitude will hasten the fall, but so what? if it crashes in 10 years or 15 will it really make any difference? The jobs are gone, the factories closed or closing, nearly half don't pay any taxes because they are too poor and more and more of the population can't even eat or clothe themselves without government assistance. and in all of this there is NOTHING you can do about it because you don't have enough money to buy congressmen and votes are worthless when both sides have been bought.

So grab what you can and be ready, because even someone with a sixth grade education knows you can't spend more than you bring in forever but with both sides so bought and paid for and their refusal to see this most basic of realities means all you can do is be ready for when the whole rotten thing comes crashing down.

Re:Superpac funders and common sence. (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39836705)

I like this but I wish the FEC would grow a pair and make PACs and SuperPacs identify their donation sources.

Geez, don't you think money should be allowed to corrupt politics in private?

Re:Superpac funders and common sence. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39838775)

Absolutely not. I want to go protest eeveryone who's donated money to causes I hate. I want to stand in their yards, threaten their children, stalk their spouses, harass their employers, etc. Wasn't it slashdot that taught me that you can't truly have free speech without anonymous speech?

Re:Superpac funders and common sence. (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 2 years ago | (#39838301)

The FEC does not have the legal authority to "make PACs and SuperPACs identify their donation sources" or they would already be doing so. Just because they are called the Federal Election Commission does not mean they can unilaterally impose whatever regulation they wish on election related happenings. They operate under two constraints. First, they only have whatever authority Congress has delegated to them. Second, that authority must be one which Congress both Constitutionally has and which it is allowed to delegate.

Re:Superpac funders and common sence. (1)

jfern (115937) | more than 2 years ago | (#39842097)

The FEC lost that one. The Supreme court ruled for Citizens United over FEC and now anyone can spend millions without accountability on political ads.

6 Months??? (2)

jpapon (1877296) | more than 2 years ago | (#39836543)

Network-affiliated stations in the top 50 markets will have six months to comply.

6 Months, eh? You mean, the beginning of November? Once the election is pretty much over?

Re:6 Months??? (1)

Basehart (633304) | more than 2 years ago | (#39836555)

Love it or leave it :-)

Re:6 Months??? (1, Redundant)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39836713)

Love money or leave it :-)

FTFY

Re:6 Months??? (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 2 years ago | (#39836737)

Network-affiliated stations in the top 50 markets will have six months to comply.

6 Months, eh? You mean, the beginning of November? Once the election is pretty much over?

Chances are that there will be some stations (or station groups) that contest this long enough to keep it from being enacted before this year's US Presidential election.

Re:6 Months??? (1)

Cylix (55374) | more than 2 years ago | (#39837453)

FCC has sent some much greater punches down the pipe then a requirement to publish vote rates. Digital conversion has had much greater impact and was pushed out with even less notice. FCC dictates the term of the license and their rule is pretty much supreme. There are about a zillion mandates in the regulations from everything to programming to the antenna. It's a daily effort to stay in check with those regulations.

Rates for political candidates are based on the lowest rate ever sold. Stations are pretty keen not to lower rates too much for fear of reducing potential campaign dollars. The heavy campaign years generally see the most stringent restrictions for offerings.

I'm not seeing that much potential for disaster as sales are entirely fluid and the only buyer a station is required to offer fixed rates are in regard to campaign dollars.

The most shocking news would be.... (1, Flamebait)

Grayhand (2610049) | more than 2 years ago | (#39836549)

That Fox News "charges" Republican candidates. I've been crawling around for five decades and I've never seen such a biased news network. It's amazing how all the radical right wing reporters end up at the same network. I find it hard to call a network news department "news" when they only show one side. All news is a dim shadow of what it once was. I think people would be shocked if they saw news reports from 30+ years ago compared to what passes for news these days. I call reporters "news bunnies" these days, both the men and women. They are all pretty people that crack jokes and don't write their own copy, ever. Back in the day they were actual reporters that researched their own stories. I dare you to watch the BBC then watch CNN. What was depressing was seeing Isha Sesay join CNN. The first few months she was completely professional and just like a BBC reporter. After that they got her joking and laughing it up and now she's just like the rest of them. Apparently lame US journalism is infectious. Just look at the CNN schedule, there are a couple of hours a day to open news and the rest are news bunnies giving opinions. Cable stations may be within their rights to be bias but Fox news uses public airwaves so they should be held to a higher standard. People forget that "news" reporting is a requirement of the FCC so if they are using the public airwaves to report only one side then they need to be required to state this fact. Just tired of smug, one sided reporting being broadcast on airwaves we all own. If they want to be bias there's cable for that! I'd dearly love to see what they charge each candidate. If they charge Democrats more then they should loose their license. I'm not a Democrat I just get tired of bandwidth that could be used to benefit the public being used for political gain.

Re:The most shocking news would be.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39836605)

Republican candidates make up the meager amount Fox charges them in all the support drummed up by Fox's constant bias and outright lies. The charge is just a technicality to them.

Also there is nothing wrong with having a sense of humor even in a professional capacity (how very British of you to think that a sense of humor equates to an automatic drop in quality). If her reporting got worse that had nothing to do with her sense of humor. And if her reporting stayed the same and now she just happens to occasionally laugh, then there is no reason for your asinine assertion that "laughing" is the same as bad reporting at all.

Re:The most shocking news would be.... (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 2 years ago | (#39836607)

The main problem of a channel like CNN is of course how to fill the time. There is usually not enough significant news in this world to full a 24-hour station, day after day. Some days of course have a lot of news to go around: when the US is invading yet another country, when there has been an earth quake and (if they're lucky) a big tsunami following it - then you can fill your day with constant updates about those events. Election days should also go fine, at least the few days before (final campaigns), the day itself (exit polls, results) and the days after (new government being installed, selection of their cabinets, etc).

The rest of the year? Well you have to make a lot of filler-TV. Having multiple news-only channels competing with one another doesn't help of course.

Re:The most shocking news would be.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39836961)

I don't buy it. There are armed conflicts and politics going on all over the world at all times. There is a financial crisis in Europe progressing nicely. There is a narco war in Mexico. There are 50 states worth of US politics. There is Africa. Don't hear too much about that. And South America. You'd think the most interesting thing that happened there was a Secret Service agent fucking a local. Here's news: the US government has fuck a lot more than prostitutes in South America.

There is 24 hours to cover their particular selection of news. Too much time to fill? Not enough APPROVED news? Or maybe just a very low opinion of American audiences capacity. More news: that's a self-fulfilling prophecy. When the educators assume the class is too stupid to learn, it doesn't. So we get stories about ducks crossing the street, tons of incisive sports coverage, every sex scandal they can find, and every now and then some international news, but usually only if its a nation we're already bombing, or planning to bomb.

Re:The most shocking news would be.... (1)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 2 years ago | (#39841933)

Some of those things require CNN to have a person on the ground in those places. That's expensive. They already have a lot of people in DC and they can report on the secret service and wars and the other superficial stuff just fine. (They may have sent someone to Columbia, sure, for a limited time, but in order to report on all that other world news they'd need to have people in hotels in all those places all the time.)

Some of the other things require extensive investigative journalism, which means a producer working on it for weeks or months before it turns into a 15 minute story one day. Not very cost effective.

Re:The most shocking news would be.... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39836633)

Look, I'm not going to argue for or against the veracity of your comments here. I just need to say the following.

Goddamn man, you must have one hell of a vendetta against Fox News to use the article/summary as a springboard into a rant about Fox News and its bias. Hell, after the first sentence, your paragraph has extremely little, if anything, to do with the article at hand and solely becomes about how Fox News has infected the news cycle.

There's a time and a place for things. And, I suppose, you follow the idea that you should make your own time and place.

Re:The most shocking news would be.... (1)

Savantissimo (893682) | more than 2 years ago | (#39841405)

How your BS got modded up and his on-topic, correct comment got modded down shows the metamod system really needs more people participating in order to function.

Re:The most shocking news would be.... (0)

dbIII (701233) | more than 2 years ago | (#39836645)

It rates.
Murdoch, theif that he may be, is politically to the left of Obama (so long as somebody else's taxes pay for social programs), but he knows that selling weird wacko right of Ghenghis Khan bullshit to Americans is the way to get a lot of viewers and a lot of advertising money.
That's why Fox keeps on drifting that way no matter what the reality is on any issue.

Re:The most shocking news would be.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39836697)

I spent some time just watching cnn and non british/bbc news while abroad. On return the differences were obvious. The cnn news was presented by talking heads that could just about read the autoQ. The advantage being that they didn't add interpretation or feeling to the presentation. (News content is another matter). The BBC new however was painful. Whenever a 'good thing' was presented the presenter would nod firmly and when a 'bad thing' was presented the head would shake. I can now happily avoid the canned news services. Its all aimed at 'not me' about things over which I have no control and depresses the shit out of me. Which is probably the main aim.

Re:The most shocking news would be.... (1)

I(rispee_I(reme (310391) | more than 2 years ago | (#39836743)

Cut them some slack, CNN is pretty good [youtube.com] .

Re:The most shocking news would be.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39836849)

People who complain about Fox News have got to realize that MSNBC is just as bad on the left. Even Bill Clinton acknowledges this. We all have news outlets that support our views. It helps create this 50/50 divide we have in this country now. If you want to be fully informed in this culture, listen to the other side with an open mind, and see what your news source isn't reporting.

Re:The most shocking news would be.... (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 2 years ago | (#39836915)

I wonder how biased (and in which direction) something like The News Hour on PBS is.

Re:The most shocking news would be.... (1)

hoboroadie (1726896) | more than 2 years ago | (#39839969)

I've said this before, and it's just the most egregious example that comes to mind, if you want get get outside the box go to presstv.ir.
Laugh at the Persion version of inbred hillbilly Fox News.

Re:The most shocking news would be.... (1)

ChrisMaple (607946) | more than 2 years ago | (#39838133)

airwaves we all own

See how easy it is to identify bias?

Re:The most shocking news would be.... (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 2 years ago | (#39838311)

So, you have never seen MSNBC?

Re:FCC Regs (1)

hoboroadie (1726896) | more than 2 years ago | (#39839943)

People forget that "news" reporting is a requirement of the FCC

I'm pretty sure they were required to provide "service to the public", which was broadly interpreted to be covered by the "News". But I thought they repealed that requirement along with all the rest.
The only thing the FCC regulates is titties.

Alternative solution (1)

I(rispee_I(reme (310391) | more than 2 years ago | (#39836587)

Display how much was paid to air the ad as a watermark in a corner of the screen when the ad is aired.

How much someone is being payed to say something seems like an important factor when to weigh when considering what is being said.

FTFM (1)

I(rispee_I(reme (310391) | more than 2 years ago | (#39836609)

"How much someone is being paid to say something seems like an important factor when weighing what is being said."

That got scrambled between brain and NIC. It's been a long night, what can I say.

Re:Alternative solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39836611)

How much someone is being payed to say something seems like an important factor when to weigh when considering what is being said.

How does it even work? Pays more == lying rich bastard? Or pays more == wants people to hear the truth at whatever cost? Or pays more == struggled hard to outbid others, finally won? Or ...

How much they spend on ads is not nearly as important as who gave them how much to spend on ads.

Re:Alternative solution (1)

Ferzerp (83619) | more than 2 years ago | (#39838033)

Or it will illustrate the biases in the advertising media? Charge candidate A X dollars for a spot, but charge candidate B 3X for a spot. Suddenly, the negative news aired for candidate B and the positive news aired for candidate A seem less and less likely to be unbiased when those rates are disclosed. That would be a major reason the media sources wish to keep it secret.

Re:Alternative solution (1)

JDG1980 (2438906) | more than 2 years ago | (#39841893)

Charge candidate A X dollars for a spot, but charge candidate B 3X for a spot

This is already prohibited by the FCC. All candidates must be charged the same amount.

Re:Alternative solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39836621)

So people can ignore it just like they do the impossible-to-read fine print that airs at the bottom of ads for things like prescription drugs?

Re:Alternative solution (1)

I(rispee_I(reme (310391) | more than 2 years ago | (#39836777)

It takes less time to read a dollar amount than boilerplate.

And it's more likely to be seen in the ad than on the tv station's website. Not that it couldn't be posted both places.

Re:Alternative solution (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39836907)

Display how much was paid to air the ad as a watermark in a corner of the screen when the ad is aired.

Better yet, display a dynamic overlay that shows the upper bound on your IQ if you believe what is being said.

Dear American television watching public (1)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | more than 2 years ago | (#39836681)

I've paid for polls to know what you want in your area. I am now paying to say what you want to hear. I'll then do whatever I feel like when elected.

Re:Dear American television watching public (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39836733)

I've paid for polls to know what you want in your area. I am now paying to say what you want to hear. I'll then do whatever I feel like when elected.

And you should expect me to "feel like" doing whatever will bring in enough bribes^w donations so I can pay for it again in the next election cycle.

Re:Dear American television watching public (2)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | more than 2 years ago | (#39836899)

Right, let me amend my original comment: Gather bribes(campaign contributions) to get money. Use money to pay for polls to know what people want. Use money to pay for TV ads to tell the people what they want. When elected, do whatever the people who bribed you tell you to do.

Re:Dear American television watching public (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 2 years ago | (#39836751)

I've paid for polls to know what you want in your area. I am now paying to say what you want to hear. I'll then do whatever I feel like when elected.

If we're playing To Tell The Truth [wikipedia.org] you're going to have to be a little more specific. ;-)

If I had my own TV station... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39836753)

I'd probably ban political, religious, medical, medical-like, and probably some other types of commercials from airing on my network. It's not like people can't get that information elsewhere, and if I were to do it broad like that, it's not discrimination against any one organization.

Okay, now mod be down for being off-topic. By on-topic, all those campaign ads (subset of political) should be transparent to prevent abuse, even the non-obvious abuse.

Re:If I had my own TV station... (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39836917)

I'd probably ban political, religious, medical, medical-like, and probably some other types of commercials from airing on my network.

IIRC it used to be illegal in the USA to advertise prescription medicines and lawyers' services.

Re:If I had my own TV station... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39837285)

Not what I meant. Things that have the disclaimer "The FDA has not evaluated...", commercials advertising cosmetic procedures, and probably "energy drink" commercials.

Oh, and maybe those anti-smoking commercials which might mention the business in said commercial. Actually, maybe any anti-smoking commercial because of this. [google.com]

" suck in " is right on ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39836795)

Most candidates are people that just should NOT be voted in office to represent the People of the USA .
We put in office people that should never be in there , then we complain they are
not doing what they say they would. Most candidates are serving their own interrests
and those of their rich friends who fund their campaigns . They dont represent you nor me .

Never did , never will.

So suck in " is right

Incumbents (1)

Israfels (730298) | more than 2 years ago | (#39836987)

Wouldn't this law just favor the incumbent? They get lots of free air time through official government channels. The current social view on spending money on advertising is highly negative. This new law seems to be a de facto incumbent gerrymandering.

FCC Gets it Right. (1)

Jetra (2622687) | more than 2 years ago | (#39837321)

Normally, I hate the FCC, but in this case, I think they made a good decision.

Disturbing (1)

acoustix (123925) | more than 2 years ago | (#39837393)

'By law, television stations offer political candidates advertising rates that are much lower than those offered to other advertisers.'

Why?

Re:Disturbing (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 2 years ago | (#39837465)

Because otherwise the TV stations could pick and choose which candidates get airtime by selective rate adjustments.

Re:Disturbing (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#39837673)

I think the 'Why' question was regarding the lower rates for political advertising, not the publishing of rates or a policy of uniform rates for all advertising.

Personally, I'd like to see the broadcasters raise political and/or advocacy rates up to the standard ad rates. That would throw such a large wrench into the whole campaign funding process that it might force Congress to actually fix it.

Rate schedule (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#39837639)

Here's our local station's advertising rates:

  1. Lies: $10,000 /minute
  2. Damned lies: $50,000 /minute
  3. Polling results: $200,000 /minute

Wait, WHAT? (1)

jonadab (583620) | more than 2 years ago | (#39838635)

> By law, television stations offer political candidates advertising
> rates that are much lower than those offered to other advertisers.

But that's...

Aaaargh. If anything, political ads should have to pay *extra*. Triple, even.

The only kind of ad that should pay a higher rate than political ads is anything that talks about feeling "not so fresh".

What does he write? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39839195)

I guess I'm old-fashioned, but I don't pay any attention to "push" advertising during election season. (It helps that I gave over-the-air, cable, and satellite TV the heave-ho years ago, and the loss of the smooth jazz station in my area just means the radio stays off.) Even the mailers get thrown in the trash can next to the mailbox. Instead, I depend on what the candidates write on their web sites. Indeed, when I found out how much written material Obama had available on-line -- almost NOTHING -- I wrote him off as a candidate. Especially as Obama was touted as a lawyer -- words are a lawyer's job. No words, no consideration. (I even went so far as to call his Chicago campaign headquarters and asked for a list of publications; crickets.)

The books, you ask? No, I don't read autobiography either, I want to see work product.

Candidate spending is of mild interest to me, in that a candidate that throws money instead of ideas shows just how weak a candidate he is for a job that requires ideas to succeed. "Buying the election" should be an oxymoron, and a red flag to any voter who cares about how well a person will serve on the job. But, today marketing is everything.

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