‘Character Assasination Ads’: A No For Radio?


By Adam R Jacobson

With less than a week to go before Election Day, the mudslinging has gotten ugly not only in the U.S. presidential election race but in countless local and state-wide races.

In West Virginia, Republican state Sen. Chris Walters believes the nasty commentary has gotten way out of hand.

Of course, that is because Walters is the individual at the center of radio attack ads that ran Oct. 24 on Charleston, W. Va., area stations that he says sends the incorrect message that he testified on behalf of a convicted child molester.

A lawyer representing Walters sent a cease and desist letter to the stations, while Walters assailed the West Virginia Family Values group for paying for the political attack ad.

With political ad dollars falling short of expectations, do radio stations need to vet the content of the ads before they hit the airwaves? Are the stations setting themselves up for a libel case?

Yes, says one top DC lawyer.

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