Last Thursday, the 9th District Circuit Court of Appeals repealed a decades-old law on airing political ads on noncommercial TV and radio stations. The very thought of Arthur the aardvark sharing airtime with some shady grassroots campaign is terrifying.
(Arthur’s best Nixon impersonation)
While the court upheld parts of the law, it decided that banning political and non-profit advertisement from the airwaves violated the advertisers’ First Amendment rights. Essentially, your three-year-old cousin can now be learning arithmetic with the Count one moment and learning about Obama’s War on America the next (thanks Rick Santorum!)
The end of the afore-linked article sums up the issue pretty well:
Either way, PBS viewers are already used to seeing ads on their ostensibly commercial-free stations. As Judge John Noonan noted in his concurring opinion, “As a viewer of Jim LehrerNewsHour and its successor, I have seen announcements that to my mind are ads. For example, I have viewed Charles Schwab’s message, ‘Talk to Chuck’—it is not about Chuck’s golf game.”