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CBS bans MoveOn ad

This just came in my mail.

During this year's Super Bowl, you'll see ads sponsored by beer companies, tobacco companies, and the Bush White House.1 But you won't see the winning ad in MoveOn.org Voter Fund's Bush in 30 Seconds ad contest. CBS refuses to air it.2

Meanwhile, the White House is on the verge of signing into law a deal which Senator John McCain (R-AZ) says is custom-tailored for CBS and Fox,3 allowing the two networks to grow much bigger. CBS lobbied hard for this rule change; MoveOn.org members across the country lobbied against it; and now our ad has been rejected while the White House ad will be played. It looks an awful lot like CBS is playing politics with the right to free speech.

Of course, this is bigger than just the MoveOn.org Voter Fund. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) submitted an ad that was also rejected.4 But this isn't even a progressive-vs.-conservative issue. The airwaves are publicly owned, so we have a fundamental right to hear viewpoints from across the ideological spectrum. That's why we need to let CBS know that this practice of arbitrarily turning down ads that may be "controversial" -- especially if they're controversial simply because they take on the President -- just isn't right.

To watch the ad that CBS won't air and sign our petition to CBS, go to:
http://www.moveon.org/cbs/ad/

Comments

Ugh.

That's frustrating...those were some really good ads too. :(

Well...I wrote CBS...hopefully others will too.

Re: Ugh.

I hope you spread around the link too.

If people aren't going to see it on TV at least they can see it on the net.

Re: Ugh.

I've already seen it around some of my other friend's LJs...when I get back to work tomorrow morning I will post the link on mine. ;) Just answering emails tonight...
And of course there's the event itself banning political statements whatsoever:

BONO has been turned down by the American NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE after asking to perform a charity song.

The halftime show at the annual Super Bowl is traditionally a star-studded affair. The U2 frontman wanted to perform a new song, ‘An American Prayer’, with Jennifer Lopez to raise awareness in the fight against AIDS in Africa, according to Rolling Stone.

AIDS killed more than two million people in sub-Saharan Africa last year, and southern Africa is believed to account for almost a third of HIV and AIDS infections in the world.

An NFL spokesman told the New York Daily News: "We simply decided that we were going to deliver, as we do annually, an extremely entertaining halftime show. We don’t believe it’s appropriate to focus on a single issue."

The halftime show will instead feature a performance from Janet Jackson...

What goes where

I actually don't have a problem with that.

My understanding is that the teams, and the stadiums are privately owned. So I can see that they have the right to do what ever they want, within legal limits.

Television stations are privately owned but the airwaves are public property. Stations buy the right to brodacast by agreeing to provide public services.

I have no problem with private event owners selling the rights to brodacst their event to a TV station or network but retaining the right to control content of their show.

I do have a problem with a TV network refusing to sell airtime to a paying customer because of the political contant of the message. I even grant that the TV network can make some demands about content. TV networks must be allowed to refuse to air content that violates FCC standards.

Re: What goes where

Most stadiums are publicly funded, at least in part. But that's not the issue.

I agree with freedom of the airwaves, agree with the message of the ad, and really want Bush out of office. If the station has crossed a legal boundary here they should be punished.

That said, this is an attack ad and I don't support slanderous politics. Yes, Bush's fiscal policy sucks. No, the TV stations aren't reporting it, having been cowed into submission. But starting an ad war ten months before the election is not going to achieve anything except making the (Dems, liberals, anti-Bush crowd) look bad for throwing the first punch.

Getting equal time is important and we shouldn't have to pay $4 mil a minute for it. Better to actively boycott every company that buys ad time during the news, or at least let them know we won't be watching TV news until it shapes up.

Re: What goes where

I disagree that this is an "attack" ad. It is an issue ad. It says nothing about Bush as a person. The ad implies that Bush's policies will be paid for by our children i.e. the next generation will be be paying for the current deficit when they grow up and get jobs. It appeals to emotion by depicting those children as children. But the ad is not seriously implying that Bush is in favor of child labor. There is no ad hominem component to the ad.

Re: What goes where

Right. That's why I said "Bush's fiscal policy sucks" and not "Bush sucks." My point is that this ad serves only to present Bush in a negative light, endorses noone, and offers no actual solutions. Removing the source of the problem and solving the problem are two different things. I've grown tired of, and frustrated with, the politics of finger pointing.

And as long as we're tossing fallacy links around, I should note that the use of children's futures demonstrates appeal to pity and appeal to consequences.

Re: What goes where

I was just going to agree with you about the fallacies because the ad is definitely appealing to emotion. But it does not actually meet the criteria for either of those fallacies.

Appeal to Pity (argumentum ad misercordiam)
Definition: The reader is told to agree to the proposition because of the pitiful state of the author.

"Bush's deficit will cause hardship for future generations" is an emotional peal but it is not an illogical one.

In order for it to be illogical "Appeal to Pity" they would have to be saying "Don't vote for Bush because our children had to work in sweat shops to pay for this ad."

Appeal to Consequences [of belief] (argumentum ad consequentiam)
Definition: The author points to the disagreeable consequences of holding a particular belief in order to show that this belief is false.

"If you hit yourself with a hammer it will hurt" is not a illogical appeal to consequences of belief.

The ad implies that Bush's deficit will have to be paid off by future generations. Their argument is "If you vote for Bush then there will be a bigger deficit which the next generation will have to pay off."

["Guess who is going to pay off President Bush's 1 trillion dollar deficit?"]

In order to be an illogical appeal to consequences of belief they would have to say something like "If you believe Bush is a good president then your children will end up working in sweatshops."

It could be a "Prejudicial Language" maybe.