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The Arkansas Educational Television Commission, a state-owned public broadcaster, sponsored debates between the major political party candidates for the congressional election in Arkansas's Third Congressional District. Ralph Forbes, a ballot-qualified independent, sought permission to participate in the debate. The television station's staff determined that the Forbes campaign had not generated enough enthusiasm from voters and did not include him in the debate. Forbes sued, contending that his exclusion violated his First Amendment rights. The television station argued that its decision was a viewpoint-neutral exercise of journalistic discretion. The station staff did not invite Forbes because he lacked serious voter support, not because of his views. Forbes argued that since the station is owned by the state, the government would actually be deciding who is and who is not a viable candidate. This, Forbes contends, is a decision that must be left to the voters. In addition, in an earlier campaign in which he ran as a Republican Party candidate for lieutenant governor, Forbes won a majority of the counties in the Third Congressional District.
What arguments can the television station make for keeping Ralph Forbes out of the televised debate?