Earlier this month, NBC gave Donald Trump the Saturday Night Live stage and a total of 12 minutes and five seconds of its air time. According to the equal time rule of the Federal Communications Commission, NBC is now obligated to give the same exact amount of time to all the other presidential candidates. Normally, that would have had to take place within a week of the original air date, but it looks like that rule is being bent so they can accommodate all 76 candidates. Sorry! Sorry, it’s 14 Republicans and three Democrats.
Out of that gaggle of hopefuls, only four formally requested to cash in their air time: Republicans John Kasich, Mike Huckabee, James Gilmore and Lindsay Graham. In response, NBC is giving them all their shot — “November 27th across 18 different NBC affiliate stations in Iowa, South Carolina, and New Hampshire, as well as during the November 28th broadcast of Saturday Night Live” — and their 12 minutes can be taken over the course of those two dates. Former New York Governor George Pataki (yes, he is also running!) has also apparently requested some time.
The equal time rule is not a law, but it’s something that makes a media outlet such as NBC look unethical if it isn’t followed, as it gives off the appearance of favoring one candidate over others. The very fact that Trump was allowed to host Saturday Night Live is mystifying, but if the candidates who requested their time can do something better than he did, then maybe it will be worth watching.
UPROXX doesn’t take sides in these things, but a few ideas were being tossed around for what they could do with 12 minutes and five seconds. Consider them suggestions.
Source: The Verge