FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: NAOMI SELIGMAN
Media Matters for America Calls CBS on History of Inconsistent Enforcement of Advertising Policy
(June 18, Washington, DC) - Media Matters for America is calling on CBS to explain its policy on running advocacy advertising in light of a new ad the network is apparently set to run Sunday night, June 20. The ad, produced by Citizens United, appears to violate the network's policy not to run "advocacy" ads -- a policy that has been used to reject ads from liberal organizations but that has not prevented the network from running other advocacy ads produced by conservatives.
According to Citizens United, its new "anti-Clinton" ad will air on CBS during 60 Minutes on Sunday. The Citizens United ad claims that Clinton is "responsible" for "leaving us vulnerable to terrorists." Citizens United is run by longtime conservative David N. Bossie, who is perhaps best known for getting fired by the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee for his role in releasing selectively edited transcripts of Webster Hubbell's prison conversations.
In refusing to run ads by MoveOn.org and PETA earlier this year, CBS explained that it does not run "advocacy advertising of any kind" or ads that deal with "controversial issues of pubic importance."
"It has long been apparent that CBS has two sets of policies: one for those aligned with the Bush administration and another for everyone else," David Brock, president and CEO of Media Matters for America, said today. "We ask that CBS explain the inconsistent application of its advocacy ad policies to its audience."
If the Citizens United ad airs this Sunday, it will not be the first time CBS has run ads from conservative entities that appear to violate the policy CBS has used to reject ads from progressives. Earlier this year, CBS ran highly controversial taxpayer-funded ads produced by the Bush administration to promote the new Medicare prescription drug law. CBS pulled that ad only after the commencement of a government investigation into the ad's appropriateness. CBS has also recently run controversial ads from the White House Drug Control Policy Agency.
Media Matters for America is a Web-based, not-for-profit, progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media. Media Matters for America is the first organization to systematically monitor the media for conservative misinformation - every day, in real time - in 2004 and beyond.. For more information, log on to http://www.mediamatters.org.