June 26th, 2012
Public Stations May Get OK for Political Ads
By David Bauder, AP
A federal court decision has created the possibility that some public television and radio stations that are perpetually challenged financially could see a windfall of cash from political advertising.
Stations that get that chance would have to weigh whether the money is worth the risk of alienating their audiences.
The U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled in April that federal law prohibiting public broadcasters from airing political or issue advertising is unconstitutional, even though the same court said a ban on commercials by for-profit products could stand. The U.S. Justice Department must decide by next week whether to ask the court to reconsider its divided decision, or bring an appeal to the Supreme Court.
Stations have held off changing their policies because of the uncertainty of an appeal, and because it so far affects only a limited area out West.