Is SC ETV Serving The Public or The Two Major Parties?

South Carolina ETV

Victor Kocher, the Libertarian Candidate for the SC5 Congressional Special Election, received the following email from the South Carolina ETV:

SCETV’s weekly public affairs program, This Week in South Carolina, is reaching out to qualified candidates for the Special Election for US Congressional District 5. SCETV will extend an invitation to all qualified candidates who meet SCETV’s 2017 Participation Criteria, for a Joint Interview.

Joint Interviews will be conducted by Charles Bierbauer, Dean of the College of Information and Communications at the University of South Carolina. Bierbauer is a former CNN Senior Washington Correspondent and ABC News Moscow Bureau Chief.

It is SCETV’s intent to provide the voters of South Carolina with a unique opportunity to hear from candidates running for US Congressional District 5 on critical issues affecting South Carolina. Your Joint Interview will be scheduled in the weeks prior to the Special Election and will air on This Week in South Carolina.

If two or more candidates cannot confirm their attendance on the taping date offered, individual interviews--up to ten minutes in length--will be conducted with candidates who can attend.

If you are interested and meet the Participation Criteria, please contact This Week in South Carolina Producer [Contact Information Redacted].

Thank you.

Attachment: Participation Criteria (2017)

The following is the Participation Criteria:

ETV Candidate Interviews on This Week in South Carolina
Participation Criteria
Special Election for US House District 5 2017

A vital part of ETV’s mission is advancing good citizenship by producing and broadcasting quality local public affairs programming about South Carolina. ETV thus has determined to produce and broadcast Candidate Interviews with candidates for US House and Senate races for the 2017 Special Election on its program This Week in South Carolina.

ETV has also determined, in the public interest, and in the exercise of its journalistic judgment, to limit participation in these programs. To be included in the Candidate Interviews on This Week in South Carolina, candidates must meet the following criteria:

1. The candidate has qualified for a place on the ballot, and

2. The candidate satisfies at least three of the following four criteria:

a. The candidate has been nominated for the current election by a political party recognized under state law;

b. The candidate has made public position statements on at least three issues (e.g., in one or more press releases, campaign website, campaign brochure, speech, or other public statement);

c. The candidate has accepted at least $10,000 in contributions for the current election (e.g., as documented in Federal Election Commission reports available at www.fec.gov exclusive of funding from the candidate’s own resources;

d. The candidate has received press coverage that identifies the candidate as a candidate for the current elections in at least five (5) bona fide print, online, radio, television, or cable TV news stories (if requested, the candidate must provide ETV with examples of press coverage); or the candidate has received at least five percent (5%) support for the current election in a professionally conducted non-partisan public opinion survey (if available) by an independent political pollster.

ETV believes the criteria ensure fairness and editorial integrity.

Given that SC ETV is funded by taxpayer money;

And given that only 37.77% of voters participated in the last Presidential Preference Primaries while 67.86% participated in the 2016 General Election

Do you think ETV's criteria ensures fairness and serves the South Carolina taxpayers?