You may remember that NBC refused to Air a pro-life ad produced by CatholicVote.org during this year’s Superbowl game. Today, I receved this e-mail update from CatholicVote.org:
We have been quieter than usual the past two weeks for good reason. Following NBC’s refusal to air our ad during the Super Bowl, we received some great feedback from our members on what we should do next. The consensus was that our latest ad should be broadcast following President Obama’s first State of the Union Address — scheduled for next Tuesday.
So we contacted CNN, thinking their audience contains precisely the type of people we want to reach. Further, given CNN’s track record of running advocacy ads, we were confident we would succeed. Not so.
For the past two weeks, we have been pushing and prodding them for an answer. And late this week we finally got a response: No way.
A representative from CNN wrote: “Thank you for your patience. We have decided to pass on this creative. CNN doesn’t accept advocacy ads that portray personal decisions in a manner that suggests a position in favor of the advocacy message, without having permission of the persons involved.”
This is absurd. Our ad does not suggest that Barack Obama is pro-life. Instead, our ad presents nothing but facts. President Obama, like every human being, began as an unborn child. Because he was born, he was able to become the President of the United States.
CNN and others simply don’t like the obvious conclusion of our ad – there was no ‘choice’ for abortion back in 1961. Thankfully, we had laws then safeguarding unborn children — laws that protected the life of a future president who tragically is unwilling to fight for those same protections today.
But wait. Is this fair?
The standard CNN used to reject our ad did not prevent the network from airing a 2005 ad sponsored by the pro-abortion group NARAL that suggested that then Judge John Roberts supported violence against abortion clinics.
FactCheck.org described the NARAL ad this way: “An abortion-rights group is running an attack ad accusing Supreme Court nominee John Roberts of filing legal papers ‘supporting . . . a convicted clinic bomber’ and of having an ideology that ‘leads him to excuse violence against other Americans’ It shows images of a bombed clinic in Birmingham, Alabama. The ad is false.’”
Several prominent pro-abortion supporters condemned the ad, including President Clinton’s Solicitor General Walter Dellinger. The commercial, which attributed views to John Roberts that were not his, was ultimately pulled from the air not by CNN, but by NARAL.
At the time CNN issued a statement saying: “CNN accepts advocacy advertising from responsible groups from across the political spectrum who wish to express their views and their opinions about issues of public importance.”
CNN is willing to run ads insinuating that a federal judge supports violent criminal activity, but it won’t allow an ad celebrating the potential of all human life, including Barack Obama? Not to mention, we are fairly sure NARAL didn’t get permission from John Roberts to run their ad.
If you want to express your concerns, please do so firmly, but charitably. You can write CNN President Jonathan Klein at firstname.lastname@example.org
So what now?
We aren’t going to sit back and complain. We are still looking at several additional options to air the ad. We are also working on our next ad, and have set our sights high once again.
If you liked what we have done so far, we are confident you will be excited about what is coming next.
P.S. I discussed the decision by CNN to reject our recent ad with an executive of a prominent commercial ad agency. He said bluntly: “Their excuse is a textbook answer for a network that does not want to run your ad.”
Of course, all is not lost. CNN’s refusal will only create more attention for our ad, which has been widely discussed even among abortion groups like NARAL and nationally-syndicated columnist Ellen Goodman. The ad remains a viral hit on the Internet with over 1.6 million views on YouTube.
We have successfully provoked a national conversation about the gift of every human life — which is why we created the ad to begin with.
Rest assured, we are working hard on the next phase of this campaign. Thank you for your continued prayers and support.