Long shot write-in Democratic presidential candidate and generally disliked media whore Randall Terry's bizarre quest to win supporters for his extreme anti-abortion agenda by assailing millions of Super Bowl viewers with a campaign commercial full of images of dead fetuses is not surprisingly meeting with oh, just a bit of resistance from at least one TV station in Chicago. While FCC rules dictate that local stations are required to air whatever insanity a federal candidate is willing to put in campaign ad form for 45 days leading up to a primary election, Chicago's NBC affiliate is trying to get around the requirement that it run Terry's commercial with the correct argument that the rules should not apply in this case since he is not, you know, an actual candidate.
NBC Chicago doesn't dispute that it would have to run Terry's ad-no matter how gory-if he were a legally qualified candidate. The station just isn't persuaded that he really is. In a statement, the station explains that it is "in the process of evaluating the materials supplied by the candidate" to determine if he is a "bona fide" candidate. Basically, Terry must do enough old-school campaigning-making speeches, distributing literature, issuing press releases, etc.-to prove that his candidacy is not a stunt. Terry claims he has done so; NBC Chicago isn't so sure.
So really, the Zen koan here seems to be: is Randall Terry enough of a fake candidate to be legally allowed to annoy everyone during the Super Bowl? It's a deep question.