Objectors to this idea claim it would violate the First Amendment. Can Congress constitutionally require broadcasters to provide time? Sen. John McCain is a courageous man who suffered four years of torture as a war prisoner in Vietnam, four years to reflect on democracy and freedom. Sen. McCain said: "Let me go back to the First Amendment thing. What the broadcasters fail to see, in my view, is that they agree to act in the public interest when they use an asset that is owned by the American public. ... I have never been one who believes in government intervention, but I also believe that when you agree to act in the public interest--and no one forced them to do that--you are then obligated to carry out some of those obligations. ... If I want to start a television station, I've got to get a broadcasting license. And that broadcasting license entails my use of something that's owned by the American public. So I reject the thesis that the broadcasters have no obligation. And if they believe that there is no obligation, then they shouldn't sign the statement that says they agree to act in the public interest. Don't sign it, OK?"
Senator McCain is right.