Foster Winters, a television station manager, said he never dreamed the airing last month of "Hell Cats of the Navy," starring Ronald Reagan, would come under the Federal Communications Commission's "equal time" clause. Supporters of Republican hopeful Howard H. Baker Jr., did, however. After a showing of the 1948 film on WGTU-TV's "$2.98 Movie" program, Senator Baker's Michigan field coordinator, Julie Weeks, asked Mr. Winters to grant the Tennessee senator equal time.
"When I first heard about it, I thought we should grant equal time to any candidate who had appeared in a 1948 movie," Mr. Winter said. "But they [the FCC] didn't see the humor in it." He was told to give the Baker campaign air time equal to the amount Mr. Reagan spent on the screen. The station manager said Senator Baker would get more than 30 minutes, which Ms. Weeks says would be filled with a campaign film.