Fri May 2, 2014
Watchdog Groups Say WCNC Failed To Follow Political Ad Rules
Charlotte’s NBC affiliate has failed to properly disclose information on political ads. This is the claim being made by two national watchdog groups. And they’ve asked the Federal Communications Commission to take action.
WCNC was one of 11 stations across the country singled out for violations by the Campaign Legal Center and the Sunlight Foundation.
"We selected samples that we thought were particularly egregious," says Kathy Kiely, managing editor at the Sunlight Foundation. "WCNC did not require Patriot Majority, which is a democratic SuperPAC, to disclose the issue on which they were broadcasting."
Federal law requires stations in the top 50 television markets to make specific information on political ads public. These include, among other things, the name of any candidate mentioned in an ad for a national office. And any issues of national importance covered by the ad.
This is the ad in question. Its called “Bad Company.”
WCNC’s paperwork was incomplete since it did not mention the Affordable Care Act, health care or some derivation of that issue.
The law is in place since it allows the public to track who is spending what on which issues. And the requirement is one of the most important tools in tracking so called “Dark Money” spending by groups who may not release their donor lists.
Its not clear what action the FCC may now take.
WCNC did not respond to an interview request on this issue.