John McCain is sponsoring legislation that would essentially force local television stations to have more local news coverage, especially local politics:
WASHINGTON (Hollywood Reporter) - Lawmakers' pique over the networks' incredible shrinking news hole is prompting legislation that will both shorten the time broadcasters have between license renewals and require full commission review of 5% of all licenses.
What's all the fuss about?
The legislation was introduced by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., on Tuesday after the release of a report by the Norman Lear Center at the University of Southern California found evening TV newscasts contained little coverage of local political campaigns last year.
It also would require broadcasters to post on their Internet sites information detailing their commitment to local public-affairs programming, and it calls for the Federal Communications Commission to complete its open proceeding on whether public-interest obligations should apply to broadcasters in the digital era.
According to the survey, 64% of 4,333 broadcasts examined by the center included at least one election story. A typical half-hour contained 3 minutes, 11 seconds of campaign coverage, the report claims.
While 55% of the broadcasts contained a presidential story, just 8% of broadcasts contained a story about a local candidate race for U.S. House, state house seats, city council seats and other local and regional offices. Eight times more coverage went to stories about accidental injuries, the Lear Center said.
What does all this mean?
"If a local candidate wants to be on TV and can't afford advertising, his only hope is to have a freak accident," McCain said.
So suddenly McCain is concerned about local candidates not being able to get on TV? One of the gripes listed hear is that Congressional candidates aren't getting enough air time. Let me think; what's happened in the last few years that made it harder for Congressional candidates, especially challengers, to afford advertising?
Oh yeah! McCain-Feingold.
Now don't get me wrong. I hate local news broadcasts. I even made it a category on this blog! However, no matter how much I despise the broadcasts, I know there's a reason why so little politics is covered on the local news. That reason is, quite simply, that most people don't care about politics much and don't want to hear more than they absolutely have to. I see no reason that people who don't care about politics should have it force-fed to them.
This is just another example of McCain's incessant desire to tell everyone else what's good for them. If he doesn't stop jumping on his high horse, one of these days likely to fall right back off.