Going too far in Fargo?


The battle for the lone, at-large House seat in North Dakota is heating up, and with it come overheated charges of false advertising and complaints to the FCC. The Republican challenger is trying to force radio stations to stop running the ads of the Democratic incumbent. The Republican challenger is Duane Sand – the ads from Earl Pomeroy (D-ND) suggest he has taken money from a national interest group which the Pomeroy campaign characterizes as radical. According to an Associated Press report, the Sand campaign denies taking money from the group, sayingSand is self-employed, but also says Sand in fact has taken money from it, but not in the last few months. 13 stations scattered throughout the state have been implicated for running the ads. Clear Channel is among the cited owners.

RBR/TVBR observation: Radio is implicated, but the lesson applies to television too, so here goes. According to reports, attorneys for both sides claim to be on the side of the law. As for us, we believe it is not a good idea to mess with the content of the advertising of a candidate for federal office; that broadcasters are NOT required to get in the middle of a we-said, they-said dispute of this nature; and that if Sand has a problem with Pomeroy, he should go after Pomeroy, not broadcasters.