Every election season, we are frequently asked why we air candidates ads that may seem inflammatory, offensive or otherwise not in keeping with our “your choice for the family” slogan.
The honest truth is, we have no choice. KXOJ, like every radio station, is governed by the FCC. The Communications Act and the FCC’s rules prohibit broadcasters from censoring political candidates’ ads in any way if those ads are “uses”. In this context, a “use” is an ad, sponsored by a legally qualified candidate or the candidate’s campaign committee, that includes a recognizable likeness or image of the candidate. The candidate may be seeking a federal office or a state or local office. Those ads are protected by law. Broadcasters also cannot pick and choose which candidates can place ads on the station.
Of course, not all political ads are created equal. Many are very informative and critical to the campaign process and helping voters make an informed decision. We believe in the democratic process and realize that not every ad fits in with the normal personality of the station. We hope this explanation helps during the political season. Primary elections are June 26th.