Americans for Job Security have a new ad out for their opposition to Card Check, and they have bought air time for it on almost all of the television networks. I say almost, because one very large exception is CBS. Why? Apparently, CBS didn’t want to offend its scheduled Face the Nation guest, who appears in the ad itself:
From their press statement:
“According to our media buyers, CBS officials cited the appearance of Nancy Pelosi as one of the primary reasons for the denial of the advertisement. One CBS representative felt that viewers would be “confused” by its contents within their program,” said Stephen DeMaura, President of Americans for Job Security.
The advertisement will be running on CNN, FNC, CNBC, MSNBC, and FOX.
“CBS executives obviously believe their viewers are not smart enough to recognize the difference between CBS propaganda and American free speech. There is no room on our public airwaves for the coddling of powerful politicians and the censoring of a serious public policy debate,” DeMaura added.
I’m always reluctant to claim censorship in these cases, because that’s not what this is. Censorship is government intervention to prevent speech. What CBS did here was to make a private-sector business decision to discriminate in its advertising sales in order to suck up to a potential guest. That’s not censorship, but it’s no profile in courage either.
Would Pelosi have refused to appear if CBS ran the ad? Does CBS care about that? If they have that much difficulty filling the Face the Nation seat, maybe they ought to expand their Rolodex file. In times gone by, the spot on the Sunday show meant much more to the guest than to the network. Maybe actions like this is why things have changed.