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:
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.