19 January 2004

Majority of nightly network newscast evaluations of Democratic Presidential frontrunner Howard Dean were negative

According to a recent study by the Center for Media and Public Affairs
Only 49 percent of all on-air evaluations of former Vermont governor in 2003 were positive while the rest of the democratic field collectively received 78 percent favorable coverage.

16 January 2004

Ads which do not promote the selling of things basically are not welcome

Viacom CBS Rejects Superbowl Ad

Well, it looks like the policy isn't as stated but simply based on arbitrary chocies.

That also means the networks are free to bend their own rules against issue ads when the ads in question strike them as inoffensive. According to Teinowitz, CBS actually plans to run three such ads during the Super Bowl -- an anti-smoking spot, a public service announcement about AIDS, and a commercial from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Of course, the drug war is controversial to plenty of people, and the mere mention of AIDS upsets others, but the networks are under no obligation to be consistent.

Plenty will say it no censorship, just free enterprise. But the government gets to air its "issue ads" anytime it pleases. I wonder how many who are opposed to clean elections laws because of free speech restraints feel the same way in this instance. Or is this a policy that is targeted at selected groups, while other groups that are on chummy terms with politicos are not encumbered here? Like does it apply to NRA, ACLU, CATO, or the umbrella of arch-conservative scions who've a unexhaustable supply of finances to fund propaganda campaigns?