Regulating Political Campaign Advertising on Television, Cable; Congress Holds Hearings on Three Proposed Bills

By Gersh, Debra | Editor & Publisher, May 29, 1993 | Go to article overview

Regulating Political Campaign Advertising on Television, Cable; Congress Holds Hearings on Three Proposed Bills


Gersh, Debra, Editor & Publisher


CAMPAIGN REFORM IS a hot topic on Capitol Hill these days, but finances are not the only phase of running for office under scrutiny from legislators.

The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation's Communications Subcommittee recently held a hearing on three bills designed to regulate campaign advertising that is broadcast and on cable.

The bills, amendments to the Communications Act of 1934, set forth regulations for the content of political broadcast and cable ads, such as clearly identifying the candidate, as well as when and at what cost ads should run, and the length of such ads.

Opponents of the measures argued that such regulation comes dangerously close to violating First Amendment free speech rights, while those in favor of the legislation pointed to the need for an end to the slick, nasty political ads of previous campaigns.

For example, in his opening statement, Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Mont.) noted that if similar legislation were proposed for any other medium, such as a newspaper, it would be "troubling or problematic."

As such, he asked, "How can we apply such regulation to broadcasting and cable?"

On the other side, Sen. Byron L. Dorgan (D-N.D.), testified on behalf of the bill he sponsored, S.829, which would apply the lowest unit rate charge to political ads that are at least five minutes long and in which the candidate appears at least 75% of the time.

"These requirements would force candidates to communicate with voters in a more constructive basis than is possible in a 30-second spot.

"The advent of electronic communications television has provided an unprecedented opportunity to take bitter, negative politics to a new level," Sen. Dorgan charged. "The result has been a degeneration of campaign discourse to [an] all-time low."

Dorgan referred to these campaigns as a "carnival of excess that is not thoughtful [but] is thoughtless, if anything."

The other bills addressed at the hearing were: S.329, introduced by Sen. John C. Danforth (R-Mo.), which shortens the period for offering the lowest unit rate for political ads, prohibits distinctions between pre-emptable and non-pre-emptable time for political ads, and requires candidates to take responsibility for their ads by clearly identifying themselves as being behind the ads; and S.334, introduced by Sen. Ernest F. Hollings (D-S. C.), which requires that all references to their opponents be made by the candidates themselves.

Sen. Danforth pointed out that his bill still allows the ads to be "as slimy as before," but requires the candidates to take responsibility for them.

"At least let them be brave enough to show their own hands when they throw the mud," he said.

Curtis B. Gans, director of the Committee for the Study of the American Electorate, argued that because many of these ads appeal to emotions, they are unanswerable. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Regulating Political Campaign Advertising on Television, Cable; Congress Holds Hearings on Three Proposed Bills
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.