Hit & Run

I was just joshin'!

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I thought my bit of skylarking about treating Fahrenheit 9/11 and its related advertising as BCRA-regulated campaign speech was just an innocent brain fart. But as Stephen Bronstein notes in the comments, in D.C. no fart goes unsmelled: The FEC's general counsel will recommend today that ads for the movie be banned after July 31 (30 days prior to the start of the Republican convention news cycle). From The Hill:

In a draft advisory opinion placed on the FEC?s agenda for today?s meeting, the agency?s general counsel states that political documentary filmmakers may not air television or radio ads referring to federal candidates within 30 days of a primary election or 60 days of a general election.

The opinion is generated under the new McCain-Feingold campaign-finance law, which prohibits corporate-funded ads that identify a federal candidate before a primary or general election.

The proscription is broadly defined. Section 100.29 of the federal election regulations defines restricted corporate-funded ads as those that identify a candidate by his ?name, nickname, photograph or drawing? or make it ?otherwise apparent through an unambiguous reference.?

Presumably this means no more Daily Show promos, no more house ads for Conan O'Brien featuring the Talking Bush video (a gag that oughta be retired anyway), and for that matter no more ads for any news program at all, unless they scrupulously avoid showing any actual newsmakers. But my real worry: What about Miller's President of Beer spots, and Budweiser's attack ad rebuttals?