District 9 candidates battle over air time - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

District 9 candidates battle over air time

Congressman Steve Cohen Congressman Steve Cohen
Dr. George Flinn Dr. George Flinn

(WMC-TV) – The 9th Congressional District candidates are sparring again. This time, they are not fighting about who brought money into the district or who will not debate, they're fighting about federal law.

The fight began when Congressman Steve Cohen was channel surfing and happened to see his opponent, Dr. George Flinn, on WTWV.

"I noticed some of the monologue he uses, he used in his political speeches and it was basically a political speech," said Cohen.

Cohen immediately got on the horn and called Flinn Broadcasting.

He learned the Flinn family owns the license to the non-profit Christian Broadcasting network separate from Flinn Broadcasting. He also learned that Flinn had been running PSAs for weeks.

"The FCC regulates this and each candidate must get the same amount of free air time," said Cohen.

Dr. Flinn's son, Shea, who is also a Memphis councilman, is general counsel for Flinn Broadcasting.

He handled Cohen's case.

"Dr. Flinn had been running a PSA that was non-political in nature, but because the candidate's likeness was on the air, Congressman Cohen was entitled to equal time and we are making sure that he gets it," said Shea Flinn, Flinn Broadcasting General Counsel.

"It was good for Shea to recognize that was what we were entitled to. He was fair and decent about it," said Cohen.

Flinn will grant Cohen 30, 30-minute shows.

"He's going to shoot a public service program that will air to the extent Dr. Flinn's aired," said Shea Flinn.

Cohen will record his 30-minute PSA at Flinn's TV station Tuesday morning.

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