Wednesday, December 01, 2004

CBS Blows Smoke Up Our Asses Explaining Why They Won't Run the UCC Ad

Over at TPM Josh Marshall provides some interesting details on CBS's "rationale" for not running the UCC "pro-gay" (really, they're just pro-inclusiveness) ads:
The network -- as opposed to affiliate stations -- runs no issue advocacy ads in cases where the issue is a matter of public debate. However, they will run political candidate ads.

Their policy of running candidate ads is pretty much moot since it seldom pays for a national candidate to spend money blanketing the whole country with ad. But the spokesman said they will run them.

Then I asked about anti-smoking ads or the anti-drug ads paid for by the Office of National Drug Control Policy. The spokesman told me that the network does sometimes run these ads and does so in cases where the issue is not one of public controversy.

So, for instance, they might run an anti-smoking ad because no one disagrees that smoking is bad for your health, etc.

CBS's rationale for this policy, said the spokesman, is their desire not to let groups with "deep pockets" control the public debate through paid advertising.

TPM is all over this story as is DKos (here and especially here) and if CBS and NBC think they're getting off lightly, they're going to be sadly disappointed by what Santa brings them. Left Blogosphere is howling about this and I understand some of the "main-stream" media (i.e. AP and several papers in large markets) are getting in on the noise.

As Josh says, "What is striking about CBS's refusal to air the ad is that they seem to go out of their way to use the weakest and most troubling rationale." Indeed. As I just wrote to CBS, the rationale amounts to nothing less than blowing smoke up my ass.

See? BS!!! Can Blow Smoke...


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