Date: 11/27/97 9:20am
Subject: Free time
To: Advisory Committee on Public Interest Obligations of Digital
From: Richard S. Stein
Thursday, November 27, 1997
I write to urge you to require digital broadcasters to provide
substantial free TV time to candidates for public office.
Many of us view the current campaign funding mess with
disgust. We see political parties on both sides engaging
in all sorts of dubious avtivities in order to raise money
for their campaigns. These actions are motivated by the
high cost of securing access to the media. They often result
in short messages with little meaningful content and
designed to produce emotional response rather than thoughtful
consideration of the issues.
I urge your Committee, in addition to providing free time, to
place some requirements for its use:
1. Short emotionally driven use be prohibited.
2. Meaningful conten such as debates between candidates
and authoritative discussions of issues be encouraged.
3. Current restrictions on private fundraising be enforced
and broadened to avoid "loopholes".
4. Policies be administered by a non-political body whose
actions are publiciized and subject to review.
On this Thanksgiving day, I wish for our political system to
turn toward emphasizing the democratic process that will
bring respect from our citizens.
I urge the Committee to support such a requirement, and look
forward to hearing your response.
Richard S. Stein