Editorial: Negative Campaign Ads

Negative political advertising is as old as the earliest American political campaigns. With the advent of the political television commercial invading our homes every few minutes it seems worse and more graphic than ever. We see it in the current Presidential and Mississippi Senatorial campaign, among others.

We've heard from a number of you asking why WDAM has to run them. Well, you see, Television stations are required by Federal law to accept all ads from Federal candidates. In addition, we cannot alter or censor these ads if the comply with Federal regulations. Believe me,the political advertising regulations are complex and stations have no choice but to comply.

What we would like to see is a non-partisan watchdog group of researchers who check out the veracity of these ads before they run and call either fair or foul with the backing of the government.

While we do make a lot of money on political advertising, and if you accept one you have to give equal access to all in a race, we lose much of the inventory we would normally have to run our faithful advertisers. That doesn't make them or us happy. Nevertheless, come November 4, you won't have to see any political ads for a while. I'm Jim Cameron, let us hear from you.

Contact Jim Cameron at jcameron@wdam.com