FCC Refuses To Order TV Stations To Air Anti-Abortion 'Campaign Ad' During Super Bowl
February 3, 2012 at 4:18 PM (PT)
The FCC has ruled that WMAQ-TV/CHICAGO is not required to sell anti-abortion activist and self-proclaimed Democratic presidential contender RANDALL TERRY air time during SUNDAY's SUPER BOWL game or pre-game telecasts, opening the door for other stations to deny TERRY the right to air an alleged campaign commercial that contains extremely graphic anti-abortion footage.
As reported by GREGG SKALL in FCC Uncensored last TUESDAY, TERRY claimed that stations were required to accept his ads under Section 312(a)(7) and may not censor them under Section 315 of the Communications Act. When 13 other stations refused to run his ads, TERRY’s lawyer filed a complaint at the FCC on JANUARY 31st -- as well as file a complaint against WMAQ-TV, the NBC affiliate in CHICAGO, which had also refused his ads on the basis that he was not a legally qualified candidate for the Democratic Party nomination -- and that even if he were a legally qualified candidate, the right to reasonable access would not guarantee him ad placement in a specific program such as the SUPER BOWL.
The next day, attorney GLORIA ALLRED, on behalf of THE WOMEN'S EQUAL RIGHTS LEGAL DEFENSE AND EDUCATION FUND, filed a petition with the FCC to quickly rule that TERYY is not "legally qualified" candidate.
TODAY, the COMMISSION concluded that WMAQ was within its rights to conclude that TERRY is not a legally qualified candidate entitled to reasonable access to broadcast stations in Illinois. -- and that even if he were a legally qualified candidate, WMAQ’s refusal to sell time to him specifically during the Super Bowl broadcast was not unreasonable.
The FCC ruling can be read in its entirety here