TV stations pass on Kobach interview

? Three Kansas City television stations have decided not to run a half-hour program featuring Republican congressional candidate Kris Kobach because of equal-time requirements.

Kobach was scheduled to appear in a taped interview with the Rev. Jerry Johnston on KMCI-TV, KSHB-TV and PAX TV today, two days before the general election. General managers at all three stations decided there wasn’t enough time to provide Kobach’s Democratic opponent in the race for Kansas’ 3rd Congressional District, incumbent Rep. Dennis Moore, with a similar broadcast opportunity.

The interview, taped at Johnston’s First Family Church in Overland Park, dealt heavily with the topic of gay marriage, which is one of Kobach’s central themes.

“If it came at least a week or two ago, we probably could have aired it and given Dennis Moore equal time at the equal rate,” said Frank Barajas, general manager of PAX TV. “There will not be another Sunday time that we can give them.”

The program would have run in Johnston’s normal time slot, paid for by his church. Johnston said Moore was invited to participate but declined.

“It seems to me as if they have an agenda,” Moore said. “I’m not sure it’s going to be very productive for me to be on the show, honestly.”

But Kobach took issue with the show’s cancellation.

“This is not a candidate use, which would trigger equal-time provisions under the FCC rules,” Kobach said.