It is said that when St. Francis appeared before his bishop to implore him for assistance in creating an order dedicated to poverty, he was stark naked. The Franciscans were willing to throw themselves on the kindness of strangers for succor, and it would hardly have been appropriate for St. Francis to appear before his bishop wrapped in ermines studded with pearls. Then and now, appearances are important.
Dear Sirs:This law firm represents Friends of Chris Murphy. I am writing with regard to a recent television advertisement of Susan Bysiewicz, in which she falsely accuses Mr. Murphy of receiving “more hedge fund money than any other Democrat in Congress.” As Ms. Bysiewicz’s campaign publicly acknowledged, the ad is false and unsupported by the data cited. See July 19, 2012 Stamford Advocate; July 19, 2012 Hartford Courant; and July 19, 2012 CT Mirror. According to Ms. Bysiewicz’s campaign, the ad was due to a “research error”. July 19, 2012 Stamford Advocate. Indeed, opensecrets.org , the source Ms. Bysiewicz’s campaign relies upon, has never listed Mr. Murphy as the top recipient of hedge fund donations in any year since Mr. Murphy was elected to Congress. Regardless of whether the error was due to negligence or was intentional, the Bysiewicz campaign has admitted that the central factual claim in the ad is false, and for the sake of FCC licensing requirements and the public interest, this advertisement must not be aired now that it is known to contain false statements. As you are aware, the station has a duty under Federal Communication Commission regulations “to protect the public from false, misleading or deceptive advertising.” Licensee Responsibility With Respect to the Broadcast of False, Misleading or Deceptive Advertising, 74 F.C.C.2d 623 (1961). Failure to prevent the airing of “false and misleading advertising” may be “probative of an underlying abdication of licensee responsibility” that can be cause for the loss of a station’s license. Cosmopolitan Broad. Corp. v. FCC, 581 F.2d 917,927 (D.C. Cir. 1978). Because this advertisement is known to be false, misleading, and deceptive, we ask that you immediately discontinue airing this advertisement. If you have any questions regarding this letter, please contact me. Your cooperation in this matter would be greatly appreciated.Sincerely yours,Michael C. Harrington