Oops: Cable station fails to air O’Donnell infomercial

posted at 1:32 pm on November 1, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

After announcing a last-minute buy from a regional cable company for 30-minute slots, the Christine O’Donnell campaign urgently encouraged Delaware voters to tune their sets to her last-minute pitch. Just to be sure that it went off without a hitch, the campaign also reminded the station to run the program. Even after that, the cable channel “forgot” to run the show … twice:

She told supporters at a Tea Party Express rally on Sunday in Wilmington to watch that night at 11:30. “Tell everyone to tune in,” she said at the rally.

“1 minute until the premiere of our 30 minute feature. Tune in to meet all the heart warming people I’ve met on the campaign trail. Ch. 28,” O’Donnell tweeted Sunday night.

But the ad never aired.

A few minutes later, O’Donnell tweeted: “Okay… this is NOT our show! Must be a programming mix up. We will get back to you…”

The source, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive campaign operations, said the station “forgot to air it.”

Then on Monday morning, O’Donnell’s campaign issued a press release saying the ad would air on Channel 28 at 10 a.m. The candidate tweeted: “The Inspiring TV show about Delawareans will air at 10 am and 3 pm today on Channel 28. Please watch this before you vote.”

And again, it did not air.

“This isn’t our show either! We are told channel 28 ‘forgot’ to air it…both times… even though we paid for the time slot last week,” O’Donnell tweeted shortly after 10 a.m.

They forgot? Well, it’s certainly possible, but it seems a little strange. A last-minute buy from a client would come at a premium price, and one might expect a cable provider to treat it with more care. Backers of O’Donnell who already argue that the media has a double standard when covering her campaign will seize on this as another piece of evidence for it. And if the cable channel’s best excuse is that they forgot about it, that won’t be an unreasonable suspicion at all.

The spot itself is an expertly produced final argument for O’Donnell, and could give people a reason to at least consider her for their votes. It focuses on the economy, taxes, and education right from the beginning. Instead of coming across as a firebrand, the spot uses gentle music and shows O’Donnell talking in reasonable tones about the issues. Like many other politicians, she uses the argument-by-anecdote method, and does so particularly well, with a series of vignettes about the issues discussed. The big question will be whether enough Delaware voters will see it in time to make an impact on the race, a question complicated by the cable channel’s “forgetfulness.”

Fortunately, we can embed the video here:

We the People of the First State from Friends of Christine O'Donnell on Vimeo.

Update: Some readers have complained to the cable station, which has responded by saying that they didn’t get the tape until Sunday, and that the problem was with Comcast employees not getting the job done.

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windansea on November 1, 2010 at 7:35 PM

I guess you didn’t gather the import of the last tweet that was posted after the O’Donnell campaign had been promised new air times and then again it failed to appear at the appointed time. It’s supposed to air again tonight…will the station finally show it? We’ll see.

KittyLowrey on November 1, 2010 at 10:40 PM

Here are the two more recent tweets:

Channel 28 has really pulled through for us. Thank you. TV show We The People will air tonight at 6, 8:30, and 9. Thank you Channel 28.
about 2 hours ago via txt .In the meantime… you can watch it at Christine2010.com.

Then (meaning after that):

Gotta just laugh…mix up again! This is not our show on Ch 28. Watch it at our premiere party at CB Joes in Christiana tonight. Runs til 9

And, if the station was telling the campaign it was granting primetime airing it was a tacit admission the station was (and is) at fault.

KittyLowrey on November 1, 2010 at 10:44 PM

I find it interesting that Tim Qualls says Christine O’Donnell is “losing” his vote when he’s a Facebook fan of Chris Coons but not her.

See for yourself.

Snowed In on November 1, 2010 at 11:14 PM

I find it interesting that Tim Qualls says Christine O’Donnell is “losing” his vote when he’s a Facebook fan of Chris Coons but not her.

See for yourself.

Snowed In on November 1, 2010 at 11:14 PM

What he lied?

What a shock.

sharrukin on November 1, 2010 at 11:24 PM

Of course, maybe the (lefty) Daily Caller is in cahoots with (lefty) Comcast, (lefty) Channel28, (lefty) Mike Castle, (lefty) Illuminati, and of course, (lefty) Rove-Krauthammer to keep COD down.

We’re through the looking glass here, people!!

/the delusional right

JohnGalt23 on November 1, 2010 at 9:49 PM

I don’t see from that story how you can put it all on CAMPAIGN FAIL, unless of course that’s your default position.

In an e-mail to TheDC, though, O’Donnell spokesperson Doug Sachtleben said, “It is my understanding that station personnel have confirmed receiving the tape Sunday night, at least two hours before the scheduled air time.”

“The half-hour long special from the O’Donnell campaign was not aired as scheduled on Sunday night and Monday morning. Delaware 28 Executive Producer Tim Qualls explained to the campaign that he was out of the area for the weekend because of a family illness, and was apparently unaware of the campaign’s transaction last Friday between a local third-party buyer and Channel 28 employees,” Sachtleben said in a statement.

Sounds to me like there’s a huge dose of STATION FAIL in there somewhere as well.

ddrintn on November 1, 2010 at 11:25 PM

Snowed In on November 1, 2010 at 11:14 PM

I found it odd that Qualls would dare consider his personal political views relevant towards providing appropriate, professional customer service and as worthy excuse for his failure to do so.

viking01 on November 1, 2010 at 11:29 PM

And Christine O’Donnell clearly sucks at Campaigns and Elections.

JohnGalt23 on November 1, 2010

Really? A virtual unknown a mere three weeks ago and is now known worldwide, takes down an 18-term Congressman and former Governor of the state, weathers storm after storm and is surging at the end? I wish all Conservative candidates sucked that bad…we’d have super majorities for the next few generations.

JonPrichard on November 1, 2010 at 11:34 PM

Christine O’Donnel is cute.

Coons got a pass on his proclivities and pecadillos, while O’Donnel was often falsely accused, and the press pressed against her.

Female Conservatives this election cycle have fequently been targeted for misogynist attacks, the press giving a virtual 100% pass on such attacks, and obscuring the damaging facts about leftists-democrats.

The press and misguided, misinformed celebrities, those who are famous enough to be recorded and broadcast, have helped the leftists-democrats foist fraud on the US voter, and the many uneducated, misinformed, close minded, mean spirited voters who swallow that swill go along blindly to their own demise.

William2006 on November 2, 2010 at 2:15 AM

That was an awesome video…well done and very professional.
All but the extreme partisans and haters will not appreciate how effective this video could be. It sets a standard.

right2bright on November 2, 2010 at 3:55 PM