June 25, 1998

Political Debates

In 1992 an Arkansas public television station excluded congressional candidate Ralph Forbes from a televised debate on the grounds that he was from a 3rd party and not a viable candidate. Forbes sued the station, saying third party candidates deserve to be heard. The case eventually went to the Supreme Court and earlier this year the court ruled that public television stations can exclude candidates as long as they set "reasonable viewpoint neutral criteria." Joan Cartan-Hansen and her guests discuss the ruling's impact on the debates broadcast on Idaho Public Television, which up until this point have included 3rd party and Independent candidates.