If conservative group Citizens United has its way, the current TV ad campaign for Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 may have to be yanked or modified.
Calling the ads the equivalent of campaign spots, the group filed a complaint with the FCC and FEC, saying the spots violate, or will violate, prohibitions on ads featuring federal candidates 30 days before a national nominating convention or 60 before an election.
If the FEC rules its way, any ads that show Bush would have to be pulled by the end of July. Buttressing their case somewhat was an FEC draft advisory last week in an unrelated case that said that ads for documentaries were subject to McCain-Feingold restrictions.
The advisory did not rule on whether a documentary ad could qualify for a news exemption, as does, say, a network promo for an upcoming candidate interview, but Citizen's United's complaint will likely force it to address that issue. The read on the decision is that Moore will probably get the exemption. Even one of the Republicans on the FEC said he would be hard-pressed not to grant it.