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Tell Candidates: Threaten to Sue TV Stations Over Lying Political Ads

March 1, 2016

For years, I've been working on the "Public Interest Obligations" of broadcasters. What exactly does it mean that TV and Radio stations are required to "serve the public interest" as a requirement of their licensing? 

One issue I have written about over the years are political ads that blatantly lie to We the People over the very airwaves that are sworn to serve us. I've suggested that We the People start a class action suit against the stations, but have been told by attorneys that we have no standing to file such a case. 

But candidates themselves do have such standing, and I've just written an article about Ted Cruz threatening to sue TV stations over third party ads he says lie about him. Now that he has complained to the station, that media outlet will have to fact check the ad to make certain it is true, something they should be doing in the first case, given that TV stations stand to make $4.4 Billion in this 2016 election cycle alone.

So here's our action: write to candidates of your choice and ask them to threaten to sue the TV Stations over lying political ads. 

It's a simple and effective way to clean up our elections and take the bite out of the Citizens United teeth.