If We Both Work the Refs, It's a Fair Fight

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The Hill's Jonathan E. Kaplan reports on Democrats and Republicans both using a fiendishly wimpy tactic to knock their opponents off the airwaves.

Republicans pressured the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) last week into revising a radio advertisement in Kentucky, and Democrats did the same to the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) in Ohio.

Other independent political groups, such as MoveOn.org, have had advertisements pulled from the airwaves. MoveOn's advertisements linking GOP incumbents to scandal-tarred lobbyist Jack Abramoff were yanked off the air in Hartford, Conn., and Columbus, Ohio.

In January, a Houston television station refused to air an advertisement that liberal groups paid for attacking Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas), the former majority leader, after receiving a letter from DeLay's lawyer pointing out that broadcasters can be held liable for erroneous content.

Yes, Tom DeLay is setting another campaign trend. That was a nice constitutional republic we had for a while, there.

Kerry Howley spoke to Going Dirty author David Mark in February, about how negative campaigns are actually good for democracy, candidates' lawyers be damned.

NEXT: Frogs in a Pot

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  1. So… let me see if I understand this. Politicians must no tell the absolute truth, but only on the topic of other politicians?

  2. Er, no=now. Sheesh.

  3. Um, no.

    Politicians may continue to lie as much as they please.

    NONpoliticians (interest groups – i.e. the way the rest of us supposedly are a part of The System), OTOH, may not.

    JMJ

  4. (Sigh – it’s been a long day. Missing semicryptic reference:)

    It’s AP Libel Manual Meets McCain-Feingold.

    JMJ

  5. This kind of intimidation via the justice system has been hurting the little guy for decades.

    Lawyers send threatening letters like this all the time. I have a very specific example in mind where my colleague received a letter after he had registered a domain name with part of a brand in it. The letters kept coming. The company had no legal leg to stand on, but letters from lawyers are cheap and effective for the 290 million of us that haven’t worked in the legal field. My colleague wasn’t scared away, but hundreds of thousands of other people per year are scared away from doing what is perfectly legal because a scumbag lawyer made an empty threat.

    The topic of this post is not new. In fact, I really don’t care whether a billion dollar corporation pulls ads because a millionaire politician’s lawyer threatened him. Who gives a shit about the ad, the media company, or the politician?

    I know we’re all in the same boat, but I’m so tired of this. If you guys were half as passionate about the practical issues of OUR liberty (i.e. mine and yours) as you are about nonsense, useless politics among the almighty vultures, maybe some change might come about. The liberties of Delay and the media is not where the problem of extensive litigiousness is most relevant.

  6. If you guys were half as passionate about the practical issues of OUR liberty (i.e. mine and yours) as you are about nonsense, useless politics among the almighty vultures, maybe some change might come about.

    So…America has degenerated into a feudal oligarchy because Reason bloggers don’t post on the right topics?

    At last the true criminals are unmasked! Damn you, Reason! Damn you to hell!

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