05/13/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

TMZ, 700 Club Pass FCC's News Test: "Bona Fide Newscasts"

In a development certain to astonish, the FCC has ruled that Fox's "TMZ" and the Christian Broadcast Network's "The 700 Club" are "bona fide newscasts." Variety reports:

The Federal Communications Commission has ruled as such in the cases of Fox's "TMZ" and the Christian Broadcast Network's "The 700 Club," declaring Friday that each show meets the test for "a bona fide newscast" and therefore would not trigger political equal-time requirements...

...Celebrity ambulance-chaser "TMZ" argued that it contained genuine news value similar to that of "Entertainment Tonight," which received bona fide newscast status in 1988.

The FCC also considers whether a program "reports news of some area of current events, in a manner similar to more traditional newscasts," according to the agency. CBN argued "The 700 Club" does precisely that.

In both cases the commission agreed.

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