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FCC: No foul on "RATS" stunt

TV stations violated no FCC rules by airing a campaign advertisement last September that supposely included a subliminal image of the word "RATS" while attacking then Vice President Al Gore's prescription-drug proposal, Enforcement Bureau Chief David Solomon found on Friday.

Solomon was responding to a letter from Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and John Breaux (D-La.) asking for investigation of the matter. The commission sent letters to 217 stations that ran the ad, asking them a series of questions about their decision to do. "Based on our review of the responses submitted by the stations, we conclude that no further action is warranted," Solomon wrote.

Most of the stations said they didn't know the word appeared in the ad. The stations that said they did know about the word also said they could see it, thus assuming it was not subliminal. Many stations also said they assumed they could not edit the ad because according to the law, TV stations cannot change political advertisements if a candidate appears in them.
- Paige Albiniak