Television networks are usually on the hunt for advertising dollars. But, now we are in the midst of a presidential campaign election cycle and the last thing CNN wants to do is run a campaign ad that knocks its own reporters and on-air talent.
CNN has refused to run two campaign ads submitted by the Trump re-election campaign but will air an ad that was submitted Thursday. The first one denied was “Biden Corruption” and it was released last week. The 30-second ad accuses Democrats of trying to steal the upcoming presidential election with the help of their “lapdogs” at CNN – Don Lemon, Chris Cuomo, Jim Acosta, and it also includes MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow.
CNN claims the ads aren’t factual and that the mention of its employees is enough to justify denying the airing of the ads.
Another ad submitted to CNN and its corporate cousin Turner Sports on Thursday was rejected. CNN said the ad contains assertions about the whistleblower complaint against Trump that have been disputed by the intelligence inspector general, and uses the word “coup” to describe the impeachment process set forth in the constitution.
A third ad was accepted. While the ad says “the swamp” hates Trump, flashing video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, it outlines actions taken in the president’s first term and asserts that it takes a “tough guy” to change Washington.
Here is the “coup” ad:
Just as CNN objects to the Trump campaign claim of corruption in Biden and his son’s dealings in Ukraine, the cable news network also objects to the impeachment hearings as the Democrats attempt of a coup, as the campaign claims.
CNN said in a statement that “in addition to disparaging CNN and its journalists, the ad makes assertions that have been proven demonstrably false by various news outlets, including CNN.”
CNN cited similar concerns about false statements in declining the newer commercial, saying the spot makes claims about the whistleblower complaint against the president that the intelligence community inspector general has debunked.
“In addition, it is inaccurate to use the word ‘coup’ to describe a constitutionally prescribed legal process,” the company stated, echoing critics who slammed Trump’s comparison of impeachment to an opposition group’s violent, illegal overthrow of a government.
The third campaign ad is called “Changing Times” and has been approved for airing on CNN. The message is that “Mister Nice Guy” won’t cut it anymore.
As you can see, it’s a fairly standard kind of campaign ad.
A Trump campaign spokesman points to CNN using its platform to protect Joe Biden.
His campaign spokesman, Tim Murtaugh, said “CNN spends all day protecting Joe Biden in their programming, so it’s not surprising that they’re shielding him from truthful advertising too.”
It is not unprecedented that a network deny airing a campaign ad. FOX did that, too, by the way, in 2017. FOX objected to a Trump ad that portrayed illegal immigrants as violent. The unusual part, as even the New York Times points out, is how early the denials are happening. It points to a very contentious campaign season.
It is unusual but not unprecedented for television networks to reject a political advertisement from a presidential candidate. On the eve of last year’s midterm elections, major channels, including Fox News, removed a commercial from Mr. Trump’s political team that portrayed immigrants as a violent threat.
But political ads tend to be contentious in the latter stages of a campaign — not 13 months before Election Day. And CNN’s decision could foreshadow a longer conflict between Mr. Trump’s political aides and network executives who are tasked with reviewing the accuracy of the information that reaches viewers.
CNN’s bias is obvious to even the most casual viewer. FOX does have a bias toward Trump but the difference is that FOX also has on-air talent that isn’t pro-Trump. A good example is Shep Smith, who is a classic anti-Trumper. There is no on-air talent on CNN or MSNBC that anyone would label as pro-Trump. There is no attempt to bring a little balance. Even most of the conservatives brought on as guests are Never-Trump conservatives.
Team Biden is trying to strong-arm FOX into not airing Trump’s campaign ad that focuses on Ukraine.
In a letter to Fox News and Fox Business general counsel Lily Claffee, Biden campaign manager Greg Schultz wrote that the ad “falsely states” that “Biden offered Ukraine $1 billion to fire the prosecutor investigating a company affiliated with his son.”
“Though the Trump campaign is prepared to fabricate outright lies, your station’s airwaves should not be used to disseminate them,” Schultz wrote. “We are putting you on notice about the absolute falsity of the advertisement’s claims, and we expect that you will reject it. Please consider this letter a standing request that you reject any advertisement containing similar claims, regardless whether the Trump campaign or a third-party group seeks to place it.”
We are putting you on notice. To which FOX responded, “We are not in the business of censoring ads from candidates on either side of the aisle.” “Vice President Joe Biden has a standing invitation to appear on any of our platforms.”
Good old Joe doesn’t appear on FNC, though, and was recently caught pointing his finger in campaign reporter Peter Doocy’s face while demanding he “Ask the right question.”