WASHINGTON – It's no joke. The Senate candidate you probably never heard of is demanding equal time on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert."
A week after Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand, a New York Democrat, yukked it up with Colbert, her likely Republican opponent, New York businesswoman Chele Farley, Monday asked CBS and its northeastern affiliates for the right to go on the popular late night show, too.
"All we are asking for is CBS and all the mainstream media to follow the law, respect the voters and treat the race fairly,” said Farley.
A federal rule requires networks to give equal time to political opponents, but there are exceptions to the rule. "Bona fide news interviews" are exempt from the rule, so if the Federal Communications Commission were to ever rule on Farley's claim, the decision might come down to an odd question:
Is Colbert bona fide?
History says he is. The FCC has ruled in the past that interviews on programs like "The Tonight Show" qualify as news interviews and are exempt from the equal time rule.