What about the financial incentives behind all this? TV stations can charge higher rates for super PAC ads—“whatever the market will bear,” as the vice president of communications for the National Association of Broadcasters recently told The Hill— than they can for ads from candidates’ campaigns, which must be offered at a discounted rate. So perhaps the question is, as Bill Moyers put it in a segment about the “Stand By Your Ad” campaign, “can conscience defeat cash?”
And yet, according to NBC4’s Bradley, the choice is not so stark.
“We don’t doubt at all if we turn down an ad for whatever reasons, deceptive claims, [the Super PAC] will be back with a different version the next day,” he said.
And this torrent of ad cash comes with a logistical burden.
“This influx of Super PAC money, while a financial windfall, it is also a gigantic headache for us,” said Bradley. “How do you stay ahead of it [reviewing these ads]? It’s a tsunami.”
Staff writers Liz Cox Barrett and Greg Marx contributed to this report.