November 1, 2012

Fringe candidate goes for shock

This week's Odin's Word (the Princeton High School newspaper) had a big spread on the two major party candidates for president and profiles on three more, less-major party candidates for president.

They didn't touch on Randall Terry's candidacy.

Terry - about whom I had never heard before this week - is, however, running for President and has enough support and money to run ads on eleven television stations around the country. Lucky for me, some of those stations are in Cincinnati - WCPO, WKRC, WLWT, and WXIX, admittedly all at fairly awkward times...
  • WLWT NBC News 5 @ 4:30A: 4:30 – 5AM Wed 10/31 – Fri 11/02
  • WCPO ABC 9 News @ 11PM: 11 – 11:35 PM Wed 10/31
  • WKRC CBS Good Morning Cinn @4:30A: 4:30 – 5AM Wed 10/31 – Fri 11/02
  • WXIX FOX Fox 19 Morn News @6A: 6 – 6:30 AM Wed 10/31 – Fri 11/02
I haven't actually seen the ads on television myself but have gotten a fairly thorough report from Calen on how WKRC has been handling the ads which are more than a little beyond the pale. WKRC has running a disclaimer before and after the ads. Apparently on Tuesday then, the newscaster even came on before the ad break to explain the intricacies of campaign advertising law in which a station that accepts any political ads has to accept - and offer time at the same rate - for all campaign advertisements. The rates even have restrictions in terms of not gouging the campaigns as the election approaches. It is, honestly, a great law, allowing every candidate to have their voice and positions heard no matter how popular or unpopular they may be - particularly with the station's management team.

According to Calen, though, the newscaster at 5:45 am on WKRC went so far as to explain that the material in the about-to-be-aired commercial and advising people to turn their television off for two and a half minutes, the length of the commercial break. That's a bold step and one that might or might not be legal. I understand the position of the station, wanting to make viewers aware that the about-to-be-aired commercial  doesn't match the station's views and wanting to perhaps protect their viewers from things that might be outside the cultural norms of Cincinnati and WKRC. I also understand that showing an advertisement without comment is vastly different from showing it with commentary.

Fox-19 has also taken a similar position in providing disclaimers around the advertisements.

In other interesting things, I found the WKRC records showing the sale of the television time to Terry's campaign. Interestingly, it appears that a single thirty-second ad in fairly less popular times (12:30 in the morning here) costs only $25 for political ads. Somewhere in my memory, I have it that political ads run at reduced rates as compared to commercial ads.

Oddly it appears that the Cincinnati ads are being run officially by David Lewis, an independent candidate for the House of Reps from Kentucky.

Terry, by the way, also ran his ads during this past January's Super Bowl in some markets leading to very offended viewers in, for example, the Boston area.

If you're interested in seeing the commercial that Calen saw, I'll put it after the jump. There are a number of other, further beyond the pale. Those second ones are available on either of Terry's websites. Be warned, though, that most of them - including the one from WKRC after the jump - have very graphic images of aborted fetuses.

From WKRC's broadcast...

The ad as shown on Terry's website


achilles3 said...

Does Odin's Word have a website?

PHSChemGuy said...

They don't have a website this year that I know of. Sorry