Perot blasts TV networks

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Ross Perot on Monday said the four major broadcast networks' refusal to sell him half-hours of prime time makes a mockery of communications law. In a 16-page filing with the Federal Communications Commission, Mr. Perot has claimed the unwillingness of the networks to sell him time violates a section of the Communications Act requiring broadcasters to sell time to political candidates.

Kim Askew, Mr. Perot's attorney, said that the networks simply cited federal law in their refusal and pointed to excuses but never actually justified their decision other than to say they didn't want to or that it would be inconvenient. The Perot campaign also disputed the networks' claims that they could keep Mr. Perot off debates and other special political programming featuring his rivals despite FCC "equal opportunity rules" simply because the networks had determined the programming was a "news event..

The Perot challenge said the FCC needs to make its own determination of what is and isn't a news event or risk seeing its rules made totally meaningless.

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