Video: More Debates?

Equal-time rule eased

The change is tiny: an adjustment of an exemption in a regulation. But the implications are national. Last week the Federal Communications Commission, in the latest of Chairman Mark Fowler's moves to free the television industry from content regulations, ruled that broadcasters may stage political debates between candidates of their own choosing without necessarily having to grant equal time to those excluded. Fowler maintained that the decision would "permit, encourage and foster increased political debate."

Under the longstanding equal-time rule, broadcasters who made time available to one candidate were required...

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