Letter Supports Local TV Station in Defamation Suit Over Political Ad
Participated in a letter of support (with four TV network affiliate associations, RTDNA, and SPJ) to WJFW-TV, an NBC affiliate in Rhinelander, Wis. The letter supports the station in its defense of defamation claims raised in a lawsuit by the Trump presidential campaign, which disagreed with a political advertisement broadcast by the station. The letter notes that local broadcast stations are required by federal law to sell time to candidates for federal elective office and cannot censor anything a federal candidate says in his or her advertisement. The open and robust discussion that results is rooted in the First Amendment. The letter concludes by noting the U.S. Supreme Court’s holding that the First Amendment necessarily protects some false speech in order to ensure the vigorous protection of free speech guaranteed by the Constitution.