"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." (Mark Twain)
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
Attempting to boost Republican Party prospects, the owner of a chain of Central Valley television and radio stations has donated $325,000 in air time for GOP candidates in many of the state's hottest legislative elections.
The contribution by Harry J. Pappas comes in the final days of campaigning, and those involved in the campaigns could not recall another instance in which a California media mogul donated time on public airwaves for advertisements to benefit one party over another.
Critics say the contribution is a clear attempt to sway close elections, is likely to raise new questions of media bias, and violates federal law requiring broadcasting companies to provide equal time to political candidates.
"They're the public's airwaves," said attorney Karen Getman, who represents the Assembly Democratic Caucus and formerly served as chairwoman of the state's Fair Political Practices Commission. "You're not free to give them to one side in a partisan debate."
Democrats released a letter Monday demanding equal time on Pappas' stations.
But Mike Angelos, spokesman for Harry Pappas and his media chain, Pappas Telecasting Companies, said the legality of the $325,000 in contributions was researched thoroughly.
Of course the legality was researched thoroughly! And here are the results of that research - if the current Junta remains in power, there will be no legal price to pay for this brazen outrage. But seriously, wouldn't you think that, after the Sinclair Broadcasting disaster, these punks would know by now that there is a price to be paid for pimping the public airwaves (talk about your corporate welfare!) in the service of nakedly partisan mischief?