Immediately after President Johnson's address to the nation on television Sunday night, the National Chairman of the Republican Party, Dean Burch, asked for equal time on the grounds that the president's remarks were politically motivated.
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Background: Immediately after President Johnson's address to the nation on television Sunday night, the National Chairman of the Republican Party, Dean Burch, asked for equal time on the grounds that the president's remarks were politically motivated. The Federal Communications Commission ruled that Mr. Johnson had been speaking as a president and not as a campaigner, and denied the request. The request was similarly denied by all three networks, although NBC offered Mr. Burch 15 minutes of air time if he wished it. He accepted and spoke at 8:30 pm over NBC.
(The law granting broadcasters the right to use the public airwaves in the United States requires them to make equal time available to all candidates for an elective office in the event that one candidate appears anywhere but on a scheduled news program. In practice, this means that facilities are not given--but only sold--to a candidate for political purposes. Only the two major parties have the money to buy network time.)
Burch spoke rather than Goldwater because, had Goldwater appeared, NBC would then have had to grant equal time to a half dozen or more minor candidates. The law reads "candidates" and Mr. Burch is not.
Burch sez: Johnson has demonstrated his contempt for the people by denying equal time to Barry and by suppressing the Jenkins case. The Administration has repeatedly tried to suppress the news. --- Item, LBJ killed Baker investigation.
Then he recites the events surrounding Mr. Johnson's Sunday night telecast, including the statement that the Democratic National Committee had first tried to buy the time for it. (THE DEM COMMITTEE DENIES THIS).
Then he accuses Johnson of taking advantage of his position to make political addresses---notes that the Johnson administration has the power and the willingness to suppress unfavorable news (ie. Jenkins case) and promote favorable news - ie the Oct 18 speech.
Then he says the Republican are filing a court action----and, dramatically and eloquently, begs for money.