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You will NOT criticize the Great Leader!
January 16, 2004 1:19 PM   Subscribe

Viacom's CBS today rejected a request from liberal group MoveOn to air a 30-second anti-President Bush ad, saying the spot violated the network's policy against running issue advocacy advertising. This, despite running anti-drug and anti-smoking ads. So, is it only issues about which they disagree?
posted by dejah420 (57 comments total)

 
Jeez, you just beat me in posting this.
posted by mathowie at 1:22 PM on January 16, 2004


I know CBS says they like to skirt controversy, but the drugs=terrorism ads last year got a huge rise out of people before and after they aired. I know the MoveOn ads are controversial as well, but the winner they picked was a pretty cut and dry, non-inflammatory issue ad like many ads in past superbowls. As much as I hate PETA's tatics to do anything for publicity, their ad sounded pretty funny and also close to some of the cruder anti-smoking ads that played in previous superbowls.

All I can say is where's the Great Liberal Media Conspiracy now? You'd think if the media was so biased, they'd be running all the moveon.org ads night and day. The real truth seems to be the networks are conservative and want to protect their money at all costs, so they only take issue ads that won't rile their advertisers.
posted by mathowie at 1:26 PM on January 16, 2004


There's a lot going on with MoveOn.org's NYC event the other night and this television commercial, not the least of which is Margaret Cho getting Dixie Chicked thanks to Matt Drudge.
posted by archimago at 1:28 PM on January 16, 2004


You will NOT beat the Great Leader to a post!
posted by Ufez Jones at 1:31 PM on January 16, 2004


Here are the winners, btw. I think they chose well.
posted by homunculus at 1:33 PM on January 16, 2004




I saw Moby spewing "hate" at the event. Strange days.

FWIW, someone asked him why he hated Bush so much, and he said "because he gives us so many reasons to hate him" (then went on to explain). But he still used the term "hate", which I don't understand, coming from Moby.
posted by tomplus2 at 1:35 PM on January 16, 2004


Wow, that Cho stuff is vile.
posted by COBRA! at 1:37 PM on January 16, 2004


I hate Moby.
posted by xmutex at 1:40 PM on January 16, 2004


Perhaps they changed their policy on airing issue ads after the Drugs=Terrorism debacle?
posted by Hildago at 1:41 PM on January 16, 2004


You will NOT beat the Great Leader to a post!

Damn me and my infernal quick fingers! ;) My apologies, great and glorious Ufez.

homounculus, that's a great link, thanks.
posted by dejah420 at 1:42 PM on January 16, 2004


Maybe: Since the NFL is a nonpolitical organization who does not want alienate anyone, CBS was just trying to not piss them off?

All I can say is where's the Great Liberal Media Conspiracy now?

While I can not speak for all the members of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, I personally draw the distinction between CBS News and CBS Broadcasting, the liberal bias issue being more of a problem with Dan Rather, rather than Ray Romano.

Margaret Cho getting Dixie Chicked thanks to Matt Drudge

If Cho has the fortitude to make the comments she made in public, then she should have no problem with people disagreeing with her. If she feels that strongly, she should not be shocked that people who disagree with her feel strongly as well.
(I am not defending the obnoxious, and often racist hatemail that she has post)
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 1:44 PM on January 16, 2004


Well, I think a call to boycott CBS's superbowl broadcast is in order. Anybody with me?
posted by MetalDog at 1:47 PM on January 16, 2004


My apologies, great and glorious Ufez.

As much as I like that title, I was, of course, referring to #1.

Wow, that Cho stuff is vile.

Good gracious, yeah it is. Doesn't make good Friday afternoon reading.
posted by Ufez Jones at 1:47 PM on January 16, 2004


Time to re-examine CBS's almost-free ride on the "public" airwaves. Are you listening, FCC? Congress? Let's price that bandwidth competitively, shall we?
posted by rushmc at 1:49 PM on January 16, 2004


If Cho has the fortitude to make the comments she made in public, then she should have no problem with people disagreeing with her. If she feels that strongly, she should not be shocked that people who disagree with her feel strongly as well.

What leads you to believe that she has a problem with people disagreeing with her, or is shocked that people who disagree with her feel strongly as well?

(I am not defending the obnoxious, and often racist hatemail that she has post)

Then why use it as a segue for the comments above?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 1:53 PM on January 16, 2004


Ufez...yeah, I didn't see Matt's entry until after I posted mine...d'oh. Not paying close enough attention, I reckon.

The Cho stuff is really disturbing. Those people are scary.

rushmc: I would love to see it, but as long as the corporations are allowed to buy their own Congress critters, it's not likely.
posted by dejah420 at 1:56 PM on January 16, 2004


This is a Red Herring.

The comparison between the MoveOn ad and the anti-drug / anti-smoking ads do not hold. Most people in this country would classify the latter as as public health ads, not issue advocacy pieces. The fact that many of us (including me) consider the war on drugs bogus doesn't change that.

Now, if CBS agreed to air an ad from GWB or the Republican Party about how great deficit spending is, but did not allow MoveOn ad, then we'd have an issue. But I really don't see one here.

Ditto for PETA (though I'm tempted to go further and say that based on their recent behavior, keeping PETA off the airwaves is also a public health issue).
posted by alms at 2:00 PM on January 16, 2004


If she feels that strongly, she should not be shocked that people who disagree with her feel strongly as well.

She's not shocked, she actually loves it.
posted by jsonic at 2:02 PM on January 16, 2004


Here's a What the f*ck Moment for VH1.

CBS also said the PETA spot raised "significant taste concerns."

You gotta be kidding me. Didn't they run ads with the two buxom women fighting in a fountain ("tastes great, less filling") during the last two Super Bowls? Talk about degrading! Message: scantily clad chicks hawking beer = good, scantily clad chicks in the context of impotence = bad.
posted by psmealey at 2:04 PM on January 16, 2004


Well, I think a call to boycott CBS's superbowl broadcast is in order. Anybody with me?

Maybe. But only if the Pats lose this weekend. And something goods run against the Super Bowl or we go out for a long dinner.
posted by Mayor Curley at 2:04 PM on January 16, 2004


I don't think the Margaret Cho/Dixie Chicks comparison holds water. The latter alientated members of their audience (and, hey, more power to them), while I doubt Cho will lose any fans over this. She was pretty much preaching to the choir, yes? Not many Freepers at her shows in the first place, I'd imagine.
posted by MrMoonPie at 2:07 PM on January 16, 2004


alms -
How does equating smoking pot to being a terrorist amount to a public health statement? On the other hand, Bush's deficit is an established, unpolitical fact. Yes, the other MoveOn ads are quite political (e.g. most of the Iraq commentary) but it is undeniable that the Bush deficit has created a severe public economic health issue that people must be made aware of before they vote next year.
posted by badstone at 2:09 PM on January 16, 2004


What leads you to believe that she has a problem with people disagreeing with her, or is shocked that people who disagree with her feel strongly as well[?]

I quote:
"Although people were offended by and commented on different parts of the 'transcript,' it seems that Margaret's biggest crimes are being fat, Asian-American, GLBT supportive, and female."
No, the problem that some people had were her moronic comments about the President, like these:
"You now? I mean, George Bush is not Hitler. He would be if he fucking applied himself."

"I think this last year has just proven how stupid Republicans are."

"I think it could have been solved so much easier if they had just placed a golden calf next to the statue and then people would have started worshipping that. And then they could have moved the Ten Commandments to Bush's office -- which he needs them, desperately. Or maybe he needs a new version of the Ten Commandments -- George W. Bush's Ten Commandments: Thou shalt not steal...votes. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's...country. Thou shalt not kill...for oil. Thou shalt not take grammar...in vain."
Then why use it as a segue for the comments above?

Becouse there are people, like myself, that disagree with her with out using racist epithets.


She's not shocked, she actually loves it.

Apparently so. She is loving her breif reapearance on the national stage, her and her "global posse" that are "ready to roll."
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 2:10 PM on January 16, 2004


Are you listening, FCC? Congress? Let's price that bandwidth competitively, shall we?

*Michael Powell cackles in the distance*
posted by eyeballkid at 2:11 PM on January 16, 2004


Another problem comparing this year to last year is that the Superbowl was televised on ABC not CBS in 2003... different network, different policies...
posted by mhaw at 2:12 PM on January 16, 2004


I guess the irony there was the CBS traditionally has always been more daring than the other networks ("All in the Family", "M*A*S*H", etc.). Guess things have changed.
posted by psmealey at 2:13 PM on January 16, 2004


So why don't we who disagree with CBS's decision boycott other advertisers on CBS until they reconsider their refusal to show the ad?

That's what we should do. That's the kind of shit the right-wing does all the time, right?
posted by DenOfSizer at 2:41 PM on January 16, 2004


S@L: You've lost me. How is attacking her for her race, national origin, appearance, or sexuality the same as disagreeing with her?
posted by subgenius at 2:41 PM on January 16, 2004


(forgive my horrible pronoun abuse there. sorry.)
posted by DenOfSizer at 2:41 PM on January 16, 2004


the liberal bias issue being more of a problem with Dan Rather

Would this be the same Dan Rather who stated on David Letterman the week after Sept. 11 that "George Bush is president. He makes the decisions and, you know, as just one American, he wants me to line up, just tell me where."

And in response to Dave's genuinely plaintive (and potentially probing) query "What are the events that pissed [the terrorists] off? What did we do here?", basically trotted out what is essentially the administration's simple answer to a complex question: "They see themselves as the world's losers. They would never admit that. We have everything. We win everything ... it drives them batty."

Oh yes, and then went on to tell an (unsubstantiated) story of terrorist cells "jumping for joy" as they watched the World Trade Center fall from across the Hudson. And then wept while reciting the lesser-known stanzas of "America the Beautiful."

Yeah, what a pinko he is!
posted by scody at 2:48 PM on January 16, 2004


speaking of stupid, did y'all catch the 'moran' who sent his hate mail from his computer at A. G. Edwards? just to be nice I made sure copies were sent to the human resource director and the CEO. along with a tip on where to read it on the web.
posted by quonsar at 2:48 PM on January 16, 2004


Remember that Honda Accord ad that was reminiscent of a Rube Goldberg machine? That was was sent all around the net and people watched it for fun. In its own way, that was probably the best ad money Honda ever spent - people were downloading and watching the ad because they wanted to.

I think that this might be a better route for MoveOn to take anyway. This particular ad being run at that particular time would, after this little stink, raise an even bigger stink with Bush's supporters and could even backfire.

No, if I were MoveOn, I would make a lot of noise about CBS being unwilling to air the ad. I would provide a ton of links to the ad whenever I made the noise about CBS refusing to air the ad. Within 24 hours, people would be downloading it just to see what all the fuss was about.

A nation of people downloading it and watching it actively is, in my opinion, much more effective than a nation of people getting up while it is on to get a beer.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:52 PM on January 16, 2004


the Superbowl was televised on ABC not CBS in 2003... different network, different policies....
Is this post pancaked or is there adds being run that would make CBS hypercritical?
posted by thomcatspike at 2:56 PM on January 16, 2004


The CBS policy seems strange.

Remember the "Life is a beautiful choice" series of ads from a few years ago? They were anti-abortion ads, and I am pretty sure they ran on CBS. According to these web pages they did...

http://www.fair.org/extra/0009/prochoice.html
http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml%3Fi=20010305&s=baumgardner
posted by Tallguy at 3:00 PM on January 16, 2004


dejah, when I heard this earlier today, my reaction was, wait, thought it was all about the $$$, the .com ran theirs why not moveon.org.
posted by thomcatspike at 3:01 PM on January 16, 2004


The Margeret Cho stuff is pretty nasty but its not like she didn't know it going in and apparently likes the publicity.

For the record, I don't think she's very funny.

As for CBS deciding what commercials to air and which they don't want to. Its their station and they can do, more or less, as they please with it. They're hypocrites sure, but so what, all of the media are hypocritical ambulance chasing whores. Look at the coverage Jacko's arraignment got today.
posted by fenriq at 3:13 PM on January 16, 2004


he Margeret Cho stuff is pretty nasty but its not like she didn't know it going in and apparently likes the publicity.

Sigh. Why do some people apparently feel compelled to act as apologists for bigots?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 3:19 PM on January 16, 2004


just to be nice I made sure copies were sent to the human resource director and the CEO

[cue diabolical laughter]
posted by scody at 3:27 PM on January 16, 2004


just to be nice I made sure copies were sent to the human resource director and the CEO...

...which pretty much sets you on the same immature, politically-biased, vindictive, reactionary level as the person in question, yes?
posted by dhoyt at 3:41 PM on January 16, 2004


I'm pretty shocked that some idiot sent a racist email to Cho from his Va.gov email address. How long 'til he gets fired?
posted by jennak at 3:45 PM on January 16, 2004


Don't forget CBS caved about that Reagans miniseries too...they're on a roll.
posted by amberglow at 3:47 PM on January 16, 2004


"Its their station and they can do, more or less, as they please with it."

It's their station but the broadcast spectrum belongs to the public, and we do regulate what they can do with it. Not that the Michael Powell version of the FCC would do anything to offend his corporate johns, of course.
posted by 2sheets at 4:12 PM on January 16, 2004


jennak, another guy sent one from his dot.state.wv.gov address -- and claimed to speak for his whole department! Boggles the mind.

dhoyt, I totally disagree. I could care less what some ignorant bigot sends from his Hotmail account. Free speech is free speech. But to send such excrement from one's work email is one's own folly. The company technically owns those emails, owns those words -- and if they are willing to say, "yes, we agree with what our employee David Duke wrote," then super.

But I doubt that government agencies and national financial planning firms are interested in being represented that way on the company (or the taxpayers') dime.
posted by pineapple at 4:20 PM on January 16, 2004


dhoyt: No.
posted by Fupped Duck at 4:30 PM on January 16, 2004


The Margeret Cho stuff is pretty nasty but its not like she didn't know it going in

Ah, the old "she was asking for it" defense...
posted by rushmc at 4:38 PM on January 16, 2004


Well, I think a call to boycott CBS's superbowl broadcast is in order. Anybody with me?

If its New England and Philadelphia, I'm definately with you. Otherwise, not so much.
posted by Wulfgar! at 4:59 PM on January 16, 2004


All those people ragging on her for being, as they would have it, fat and ugly (to choose only the milder epithets): if that's what's really bothering them then I have no doubt they send the same kind of mail to Rush Limbaugh.

Oh, and presumably they themselves are lean, buff, and all but angelic in aspect, non?
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:01 PM on January 16, 2004


Remember the "Life is a beautiful choice" series of ads from a few years ago? They were anti-abortion ads, and I am pretty sure they ran on CBS. According to these web pages they did

I don't remember the ads and I don't know whether they ran on CBS, but I do remember this policy against issue ads only applies to the Super Bowl ads, in deference to its "special" place in our culture.
posted by alms at 5:11 PM on January 16, 2004


The comparison between the MoveOn ad and the anti-drug / anti-smoking ads do not hold. Most people in this country would classify the latter as as public health ads, not issue advocacy pieces. The fact that many of us (including me) consider the war on drugs bogus doesn't change that.

I agree with this. Especially as a person who has never, ever found a political ad insightful, interesting, or otherwise useful in my entire life. Seriously. Have you ever seen a good political ad? The only things you can air in 30 seconds are worthless spin-tripe and soundbites.

If it weren't for the internet, I probably wouldn't vote. It is literally the only medium -- other than direct interaction -- that's worth getting information out of.

I'd almost be happy if politcal ads were banned outright on TV and radio.
posted by namespan at 6:34 PM on January 16, 2004


But to send such excrement from one's work email is one's own folly. The company technically owns those emails, owns those words

Then let the company find out themselves on their own volition without bitter little snitches sending them email. I don't defend what the guy said obviously, it's unforgiveable, but attempting to get a perfect stranger fired from their job is pretty fucked.

Note: consider that last sentence without political bias--see if it makes a difference. Somehow I think if the situation were different you'd all be crying foul on quonsar.
posted by dhoyt at 6:40 PM on January 16, 2004


alms:

The article this link posts to has this quote

A CBS spokesman said the decision against broadcasting the spot had nothing to do with either the Super Bowl or the ad's specific issue but was because the network has had a long-term policy not to air issue ads anywhere on the network.

That is what seems so starnge. Myself, I am ambivilent about whether they have an obligation to air the ad. It seems they could probably reject whatever they want. But their argument (as cited in the article) seems disingenuous.
posted by Tallguy at 6:44 PM on January 16, 2004


dhoyt: who is attempting to get a perfect stranger fired? All I know is what quonsar said, which is that the emails were forwarded with a link. If you know something about content he might have included asking that the offenders be terminated, you're more psychic than me.

I don't have any political bias in this. Those emails were disgusting on their own merit -- that they were a result of Margaret Cho "getting freeped" doesn't make them more or less wrong. I would be just as disgusted if liberals had sent moronic racist content to a celebrity supporter of Bush.

Unless you're arguing that wrong isn't wrong unless a person gets caught.
posted by pineapple at 8:00 PM on January 16, 2004


Do you guys see how fucked up and undemocratic American really is. I wouldn't live there if you paid me.
posted by Burgatron at 8:31 PM on January 16, 2004


It's nice to see some people still believe TV Networks shouldn't use double standards.

Hey come, get real ! The (so called) decision makers in any for-monetary-profit TV Network will sell your votes to whoever offers them more money or protection. So if reps offer more then dems reps will get air time, the contrary being possible as well.

It is your fault and only your fault that you still are seeking political advices from Networks shows or ads, that's like believing that the car salesman is only selling very good honest-to-Jebus tried-and-tested cars and that he's not trying to sell you any lemon.

Yep I think that politicians and car selling are two closely related businesses.
posted by elpapacito at 5:44 AM on January 17, 2004


I have a feeling the filth found in the emails would find a loving home at LGF.
posted by the fire you left me at 8:51 AM on January 17, 2004


No one's mentioned this, but I'd bet the NFL has a lot to do with this, in that the last thing the NFL wants to do is politicize its biggest event of the year in any respect. And if I'm the NFL (and Christ, I could be with all the weight I gained over the holidays) I think that's absolutely the right decision. Super Bowl Sunday is akin to a national holiday these days - certainly the NFL doesn't want to see that sort of unanimity undermined.

It's when CBS or any other broadcast network refused to air the ads at all that a real problem is afoot. And that's how it happens, isn't it? The networks decide that the issue is "too controversial" to air, with part of the rationale being they don't want to alienate the administration. Well, it doesn't rise to the level of infringement upon freedom of speech, because the government's not prohibiting the ads from airing - it's private business making the call.
posted by kgasmart at 12:44 PM on January 17, 2004


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