Court would let public stations sell candidate and issues ads

No, there won’t be any windfall of Obama and Romney Super PAC gazillions for public stations this year. By a 2–1 vote, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco did indeed rule April 12 that public broadcasters can carry political and public-issue commercials, but the decision is unlikely to take effect any time soon, even in the Ninth Circuit states of the West. Neither side in Minority Television Project v. FCC got everything it wanted in the decision, so one or the other could ask the appeals court for a review by a larger panel of its judges even before the District Court implements the appeals court’s order. For Minority Television Project, licensee of San Francisco pubTV station KMTP, the court decision left standing the main legislation that bars untrammeled advertising on public stations. The low-profile non-PBS station, which fills much of its four DTV multicast channels with German, Chinese, South Korean and other imported or foreign-language programs, went to court after the FCC fined it $10,000 for violating that law 1,900 times between 1999 and 2002.