Last week, Civil Beat columnist Denby Fawcett wrote about why she’s opposed to gubernatorial candidates Mufi Hannemann and Jeff Davis using radio airwaves and print columns to get extra exposure in the media. So we invited her to join Pod Squad host Chad Blair and reporter Nathan Eagle to talk about why she believes what these candidates are doing harms the political process.
“The problem with something like this is it gives him (Hannemann) an unfair advantage,” said Fawcett. “The Federal Communications Commission has a law in place – regulations in place that say if you have a radio show and you’re an active candidate running for office, you either cancel that show or the station running that show has to offer equal time to any of your opponents.”
Eagle added, “To me what’s really important is it’s not that he’s not talking about politics. He knows very, very well what he’s doing. It’s name recognition. He’s boosting that week after week after week. It’s airtime. And to spend that money on ads – just simple ads with his name to get that out – would be hundreds of thousands of dollars. He’s really winning here.”
The trio also discussed whether buying radio airtime is illegal, how different newsrooms handle campaign requests to write opeds and columns, whether these expenditures would have to be included on campaign spending reports, how David Ige would perform on the radio, and how Jeff Davis’s airtime could impact the race.
However, the biggest surprise of the show was that Blair decided this would be the episode where he chose to pose musical trivia questions to the Squad. Fans of Cher might want to stay tuned to the end of the show.
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Mike Webb produces Civil Beat’s podcast every week.
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