Live From New York, It’s Saturday Night (Election Law?)!Posted: October 19, 2015 Filed under: Uncategorized 1 Comment
Hillary Clinton appeared in a three-minute skit on Saturday Night Live the other week. Donald Trump is set to host an entire SNL show next month. Are Clinton’s and Trump’s competitors in the Democratic and Republican presidential primaries entitled to equal time on NBC? Yes, although not necessarily on SNL.
Under FCC regulations, candidates for federal office are entitled to “equal opportunities” to use a broadcast station’s facilities or to appear on the station’s broadcasts, if the station has given such an opportunity to another candidate. Kerry Monroe, guest blogging over at Balkinization, has an interesting post on what the FCC’s rules mean for the other folks vying for the Democratic and Republican presidential nominations. Apparently, one of Mrs. Clinton’s rivals–Harvard Law Professor Larry Lessig–has already raised the issue with NBC.
For me, Hillary Clinton’s performance on the SNL skit provided the FIRST moment I ever felt an iota of positive feeling for her. This has nothing to do with election law. But it shows how a well-chosen appearance can change voter attitudes.