Union Co. radio station won't air Ky. Family Values ad until it backs up claim
11/26/2013 01:33 PM
UPDATED: Union County radio station WMSK isn’t running an ad from a Democratic super PAC until it provides a source for a claim against Republican candidate Suzanne Miles, who is running in the Dec. 10 special state House election.
WMSK hadn’t aired the spot yet and won’t until the group “can substantiate it,” confirmed the radio station’s news director who called the decision an “evolving situation.”
“We have contacted Kentucky Family Values and offered them an opportunity to document their claims. If they are unable to do so we will not air the ad,” said David Shepherd.
The ad, which was produced by the Kentucky Family Values PAC claims Miles’ “family’s businesses got $2.5 million in federal handouts.”
After Pure Politics reported on Monday that the super PAC declined to provide citations for that claim, the Republican Party of Kentucky sent letters calling for the western Kentucky radio stations broadcasting the advertisement to pull the spot.
Several other station managers who received the letter told Pure Politics they were considering pulling the ad because they hadn’t received any citations or source information to back up the “$2.5 million in federal handouts” statement.
Tim Huelsing the Vice President and General Manager for South Central Media, which operates stations in the Evansville, Indiana area said his stations have been running the ad, but after being contacted by the Republican Party they were seeking to “substantiate before we decide” about making a decision to pull the spot.
Huelsing said the buy was made through a national agency and they were seeking clarification from that intermediary firm.
It’s largely up to individual stations to self-regulate when running ads. While what advertisers say is free speech claims should be backed up upon request otherwise station owners can face lawsuits.
A spokesman for the Federal Communications Commission told Pure Politics that the agency doesn’t regulate the content of commercials. It only requires the disclaimer at the end of the spot which notifies listeners of who paid for the advertising.
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