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FCC Sides With WMAQ-TV For Not Airing Anti-Abortion Ad During Super Bowl

A man who was upset when WMAQ-TV refused to air his anti-abortion commercial during tomorrow's Super Bowl, and then filed a complaint against the station with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the hopes of forcing them to air that commercial, has had his complaint denied. The FCC ruled that WMAQ-TV was well within their right to deny the upsetting, graphic commercial for a pair of reasons.

The person who filed the complaint is Randall Terry, an anti-abortion activist who has been trying to get his disturbing ads aired on local NBC affiliated stations all across the Midwest during the Super Bowl. While TV stations are allowed to reject any commercial due to disturbing, indecent, or inappropriate content, Terry sought to use a loophole to get his ads aired during the most watched program of the year. The FCC has mandated that television stations must run unedited political ads within 45 days of a state primary election. Terry then decided to become a write-in candidate for President on the Democratic ticket against incumbent President Barack Omama for the Illinois elections and a few other states.

The write-in campaign did not impress or fool WMAQ-TV. Additionally, it did not work on the FCC, who said that Randall Terry failed to meet the qualifications of a legitimate candidate. The Democratic National Committee had also previously issued a letter stating that Randal Terry is not legally qualified to be a candidate for U.S. President.

The FCC ruled that even if Terry was a legitimate candidate, that does not mean that WMAQ-TV would have to air the commercial during the Super Bowl, just that they would have to have it air at some point during the day, giving it "reasonable access" to viewers. However, since Terry is not even a bona fide candidate for President, WMAQ-TV was well within their right to reject the commercial entirely.

The complete 5-page ruling by William Lake, Media Bureau Chief for the FCC was released yesterday and can be read or downloaded HERE.

The rejected commercial was said to contain multiple gruesome images of aborted fetuses. Terry, who has stated in the past that he is a "lifelong Republican," attempted to get on the ballot of a few states as a Democratic candidate, mostly as a publicity stunt for his anti-abortion cause. He has been rejected from the ballot for multiple legal reasons.

Terry is the founder of the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue. He has been connected to numerous acts of violence and destruction against medical clinics across the country, including having members of his group assault women who were attempting to visit medical offices, and even being closely tied to the man who murdered an abortion doctor in Buffalo, NY in 1998. In the late 90s, after courts had ruled that Terry be personally responsible for paying damages to medical clinics he had taken part in destroying, he declared bankruptcy to avoid payments. He later begged for financial assistance on his website from followers, since he had "lost everything" in his battle to stop abortions. He then used that donated money to purchase a new home for $432,000. He has harshly spoken out against homosexuality, while trying to hide the fact he has a gay son. The Washington Post reported that Terry was once censured by his own church, the Landmark Church of Binghamton, NY, for a "pattern of repeated and sinful relationships and conversations with both single and married women." By his own admission on his website, Randall Terry seems proud of the fact that he has been arrested almost 50 times in his life and spent over a year in jails and prisons for various crimes. His "Randall Terry for President" Facebook page, which has been open for well over a year, has only been able to gain 383 fans.


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