Do they have to run those commercials? Maybe not. But I think the TV stations should run the bigoted, hateful, deceptive ads anyway.
I know saying this will be unpopular with some folks, but TV stations shouldn't refuse to air ballot measure ads just because people say they're filled with hateful lies. First, TV stations can't be in the business of policing ads for crimes of dishonesty. Christ, if they did, infomercials and televangelists would just—poof—disappear. And I like food dehydrators. But moreover, I don't like the precedent of TV stations, some of which are owned by companies with nutty ideological agendas and religious ownership, reactively deciding what initiative campaign messages can and cannot fly on the airwaves. If they can cite public outcry as justification for refusing to air ads from Preserve Marriage Washington, which are admittedly dishonest and repugnant, what's to say they couldn't justify denying ads to those who favor marriage equality, support pot legalization, defend a woman's right to choose, or any other issue they may detest? I don't want a TV station kowtowing to any organized opposition, because a lot of the loudest, screechiest organizations in this country are also run by the craziest right-wing zealots.