McCaskill Buys News from KMOV

The local STLMedia website this week reported that Democratic Senatorial Candidate Claire McCaskill made a deal with News Channel KMOV to buy Rams football tickets so the game would be aired by KMOV if the channel would film her giving them to area children.

Secret Squirrel (at STLMedia) spins on… Claire McCaskill’s U.S. Senate campaign.

Allegedly, someone purchased the remaining tickets for this Sunday’s game in a deal with KMOV (they would air the game if it was sold out) to provide news coverage of Ms. McCaskill handing out free tickets: A deal was struck from the KMOV sales dept. for coverage of Claire handing out tickets if she bought the remaining tickets so channel 4 could show the game this Sunday. This sale of the remaining tickets would generate ad revenue for channel 4 if those tickets were sold.

From comments at the STLMedia posting of this news, “Secret Squirrel” continues:

… campaign for the U.S. Senate. Allegedly, someone purchased the remaining tickets for this Sunday’s game in a deal with KMOV (they would air the game if it was sold out) to provide news coverage of Ms. McCaskill handing out free tickets:

A deal was struck from the KMOV sales dept. for coverage of Claire handing out tickets if she bought the remaining tickets so channel 4 could show the game this Sunday. This sale of the remaining tickets would generate ad revenue for channel 4 if those tickets were sold.

If this is so, then KMOV has gone overtly into the business of selling news coverage. Of course, if the money came from a PAC all bets are off…but essentially trading political coverage for video rights to an NFL game during which the tv station makes a significant profit still seems a little shaky to me.

More from “Termite”:

Now I’m no attorney, but if what I understand is true, there has to be some kind of violation here. Campaign law? Broadcast law?… I wonder how the Rams or the NFL feel about it?…At the very least, this is a breach of trust by KMOV.

And, still more from “Dez”:

If a local business had purchased the final tickets, little atttention would be given to the deed being publicized. This is different in two respects:

First, a political campaign is not a normal business activity.

Second, the coverage appears to either have been conditional or offered as an inducement. This invites additional scrutiny regarding the motivations and adherence to professional standards by KMOV.

A political campaign is different from other business activities. While big-government socialists like McCaskill try all the time to limit commercial speech, they claim First Amendment protection for their every utterance.

Much as she would like, McCaskill can’t have things both ways. If she is a candidate, she is always a candidate, and her every action should be viewed in that light.

If Anheuser Busch had purchased the tickets, they would not have asked KMOV to do the publicity or agreed to conditions offered by them. They would have arranged their own publicity.

McCaskill did it differently, and that difference does warrant scrutiny. If Jim Talent had been the one doing it, all of the above would have applied equally.

It may be a political issue, but it’s not one of left vs. right, lib vs. conservative, or Dem vs. GOP. It’s one of ethics, and once again Claire McCaskill shows herself to be lacking.

More from an “Sassy Radio Girl”:

BTW, the McCaskill For Missouri campaign paid for the tickets.

The Associated Press covered the story that McCaskill gave the tickets away to to a St. Louis high school and a family crisis intervention organization.

*** Update: The American Thinker says that the FCC and FEC should immediately open investigations of this troubling incident.

Previously on Claire:
Claire McCaskill Plays Moderate, But Is Busted in Nutroots Interview
Blogger Attacked for Airing McCaskill’s Racist/Crazy Bush Rant
Senator Frist Demands Claire McCaskill Apologize to Bush!
Democrats Try to “Edit Out” Clinton Protester at McCaskill Rally

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