Who died and made CBS’ CEO Les Moonves a Supreme Court justice?
After receiving more than half a million calls and emails of protest, CBS Television Network has issued a statement, via PR Newswire, defending its decision not to run MoveOn.org’s 30-second “Child’s Play” commercial during the Super Bowl.
The release cites the company’s written policy statement, which says: “CTN will sell time to political candidates, to those authorized by candidates to purchase time on their behalf and to political parties. CTN also sells time to groups supporting or opposing significant ballot propositions.”
And there’s the point! The MoveOn commercial addresses a political issue and MoveOn is a group opposing the significant ballot proposition that Bush should be re-elected.
The CBS press release, taking a clear swipe at MoveOn’s successful campaign to stir protest against CBS, says, “In recent years, a cottage industry has arisen among groups that submit advocacy ads that they know will be rejected. They then resort to press releases and Internet diatribes about the rejection to reap considerable free media attention and financial contributions to support their cause. Editors and potential contributors beware.”
A New York Times ad by MoveOn accuses CBS of kowtowing to President Bush, whose $1 trillion in budget deficits are criticized in the MoveOn commercial. The ad notes “This is about more than just a commercial; it’s about political censorship”
MoveOn’s Times ad notes that CBS claims they simply don’t air “controversial” ads during the Super Bowl. “Yet they had no problem with ads featuring serial killers, or nudists with their genitals digitally altered, when CBS last broadcast the Super Bowl in 2001.”