GOP asks news directors for `equal time'


Minnesota's Republican Party asked, informally, for "equal time" following
the widely televised service for the late Sen. Paul Wellstone, which started out
as a memorial and turned into a Democrat rally.

Minnesota news directors acknowledged that they'd been duped into thinking the
Tuesday-night live event would be more somber and less political. Nonetheless,
KSTP news director Scott Libin said, there was clearly no required parity since
the event was clearly newsworthy and no actual candidate benefited. Former
Sen. and Vice President Walter Mondale had not yet declared his candidacy to
replace Wellstone.

Nor, said KARE-TV news director Tom Linder, should it be assumed that the
Democrats benefited from the event due to the massive backlash.

Local stations were planning Friday to carry President Bush's live appearance
at a St. Paul rally for Republican Norm Coleman, and Mondale had, as of Friday,
declined to debate Coleman and other candidates on KSTP(TV), to the station's