December 8, 2007

See the Commercial too Controversial for NBC...

Carroll Andrew Morse

...then try to explain why NBC rejected it.

More details available from the Powerline blog.

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Absolutely nothing wrong with that ad. Guessing it's too pro-America and pro-military for NBC. Really is shocking just how perverse some elements of our liberal media have become. It is true there are two Americas. Couldn't be more proud of the one that represents me and my ideals.

Posted by: Tim at December 8, 2007 3:02 PM

FYI Drudge has a blurb stating that NBC has reversed course to do viewer outrage. Details to follow. Love it when my America is heard from.

Posted by: Tim at December 8, 2007 3:30 PM

That it even occurred to NBC that this was controversial demonstrates that the "mainstream media" (now there's an oxymoron if I ever heard one) is much farther Left than even we feared.

Posted by: Ragin' Rhode Islander at December 8, 2007 3:42 PM

I love that ad. I'm so sick of NBC.

Posted by: George at December 8, 2007 4:48 PM

From what I’ve read, there is a little more to this story ...

It wasn’t the content of the ad itself, but the partisan-ism of the website referred to in the ad. NBC asked the producers to remove the website from the ad and they refused.

Rumor has it that the producers of the ad knew EXACTLY what they were doing in that they knew that the publicity over the ‘rejection’ would be far greater than the results from the ad itself.

I’m not making any judgements on content – but let’s be honest, voter manipulation knows know political boundary.

Posted by: msteven at December 8, 2007 5:42 PM

I heard the part about the web address, but I'm not buying that the organization set up NBC by purposely setting themselves up for rejection. Thats like saying Bin Laden did 9-11 because he knew some left-wing wackos would say the U.S. government staged it.

Posted by: George at December 8, 2007 6:20 PM


Rumor has it...

Where did you hear this "rumor?"

Why do you assume it to be true in your conclusion?


Posted by: Sol Venturi at December 9, 2007 7:44 AM

Enough is ENOUGH!

I really don’t care if NBC has now reversed their decision to broadcast the ad.

The fact that they rejected it in the first place is enough for me to boycott NBC.

Anyone else willing to take the pledge to boycott WJAR?

Posted by: Aldo at December 9, 2007 11:15 AM

"Anyone else willing to take the pledge to boycott WJAR?"

I had made the move to Channel 6 but then they got rid of M.Mahan. What were they thinking?

Posted by: dave at December 9, 2007 11:35 AM

Rumor has it..... we all going to get PONIES! for Christmas.

Rumor has it..... rumors can be immediately discounted.

I like this site because of the crunchy goodness of some hard facts and figures presented along with the bloggers' opinions. (Not all entries of course). Nice not to have to contend with predigested 'gate-kept' 'news' that is more opinion and less fact most of the time.

Posted by: chuckR at December 9, 2007 1:21 PM

1. If FreedomsWatch's plan was to get the ad intentionally rejected, CNN sure fooled them by accepting it as is, didn't they!

2. I did a cursory check, and NBC at the national level does seem to have tried to follow very controversy-averse ad-acceptance policies. NBC refused to run advertising for a Dixie Chicks movie with strong anti-war overtones, and I can't find any evidence that they ran any of the "VoteVets" ads that appeared on other networks.

That said…

3. I happened to be watching Meet the Press this morning. Two spots after the FreedomsWatch ad ran, an ad for Hummer followed (it's available on their website, titled "From B to A"; it's on a Flash page difficult to directly link to, look under "Hummer World", then "TV Commercials"). The clear implication of the commercial is that you're doing something to prepare to protect the country from disaster if you buy a Hummer. And at the end, the ad flashes the web address "" which does nothing more than direct you to the regular Hummer website; I thought at the very least, it might direct you to some kind of charitable disaster relief foundation or something. NBC's policy about mentioning websites apparently never applied to commercial groups, which raises all kinds of moral, ethical, and legal issues. (In American freedom-of-speech jurisprudence, for instance, commercial speech is generally afforded less protection than civic speech, not more).

But the real point is, even if you don't like the messenger, FreedomsWatch's simple, direct message thanking the troops is more honest than Hummer's message pretending that buying one of their vehicles is a civic-minded act. But TV execs live in a different world, where a message about a fantasy army of Hummers protecting the homeland is somehow cleaner than a thank you to the real members of our real armed services who are fighting a war.

The public shouldn't have to accept living in the unusual world of television executives, and can be glad that the public outcry over FreedomsWatch's ad caused NBC to re-examine their initial decision on this ad.

Posted by: Andrew at December 9, 2007 3:16 PM

Hey, NBC wouldn't run MoveOn's ads, either. I don't see the issue.
If NBC has changed its mind, well, they have to run MoveOn ads now.
So much for the liberal mainstream media.

Posted by: rhody at December 9, 2007 5:54 PM


If MoveOn wants to run ads thanking the troops, I'm sure NBC would run them.

But FreedomsWatch's ad didn't take any policy positions, so there's no ethical obligation to run anti-war ads, since no pro-war ads have been accepted, unless you're arguing that thanking the members of the armed services is a pro-war message.

And before you claim that this incident somehow proves there's no liberal media, you may want to read up on the political contributions of one of the NBC lawyers who made the original decision not to run the spot.

Posted by: Andrew at December 9, 2007 7:43 PM

"Hey, NBC wouldn't run MoveOn's ads, either."

Actually, a MoveOn ad ran on the Today Show a couple of years ago.

Posted by: Monique at December 9, 2007 8:19 PM

My source was an article I read on the internet – and it wasn’t something like DailyKos.

Rhody, you cannot be serious about there not being a liberal bias in the mainstream media. At least argue that there should be a liberal bias, but there isn’t even a debate as to whether there is or not on the mainstream networks.

Having said that, my point was not that NBC was right, just that the decision was not simply partisan. Andrew’s research shows that NBC does indeed have an acceptance policy and it does at least attempt to apply it fairly. I suspect the producers of the ad are aware of the policies and the fact that they chose not to remove the website from the ad rather than get the ad aired smells like political gamesmanship.

I am a war supporter, like the ad and would donate to FreedomWatch. I also understand the reality of political gamesmanship and am not making any judgements.

What is unfortunate is that ‘supporting the troops’ has become a partisan political issue worthy of having to take sides in the context of media censorship.

But my original point still stands in that this whole event may be another play in the game of winning political elections. And where I may disagree with some of the readers here is that I don't believe ‘pro-war/conservatives are above playing the game’.

Posted by: msteven at December 10, 2007 12:06 PM

Funny how the point of view changes when the shoe's on the other foot.
FreedomWatch has the constitutional right to sell the war to America as much as possible. This "You can't support the troops and not support the war" attitude, however, doesn't pass the smell test.
Yes, I do fly the Stars and Stripes in front of my home (and did so well before 9/11). Mrs. Rhody, much less of a political animal than I, put it best: "The right does not have exclusive rights to patriotism."
That's precisely the attitude FreedomWatch is trying to sell us.

Posted by: rhody at December 11, 2007 11:35 AM

Rhody, did I miss where someone challenged your patriotism? I swear liberals defend their patriotism far more than they are ever accused of the contrary.

Playing the victim, again?

Posted by: George at December 11, 2007 3:14 PM

George, I believe the phrase "do not feed the troll" is a copout. Instead, I will simply question whether you can handle anybody disagreeing with you in an adult fashion.
The majority of posters here, even those with whom I disagree, accept a little friendly give and take.
Adulthood. Look into it sometime.

Posted by: rhody at December 11, 2007 3:56 PM


I agree that the whole “can’t support the troops and not support the mission” is nonsense. But this situation with the ad isn’t that at all.

The ad in question does not advocate the reasons for going into Iraq. It does thank the soldiers for their hard work and sacrifice. I’m sure FreedomWatch does support the war and that would be clear on their website. NBC requested that they remove the website from the ad.

As I said before, it is sad that even showing support for our non-partisan military has become a partisan issue. Your wife is correct that neither political party has exclusive rights to patriotism. FreedomWatch may be trying to persuade people to support the war, just as MoveOn and others attempt to persuade against it.

We live in a great country that allows freedom for both views.

Posted by: msteven at December 11, 2007 4:52 PM

Goes to show you, msteven, that sometimes it takes somebody who avoids political debates to bring a little sanity to them.
Who knows, given the writer's strike, economic pressure will make it much tougher for NBC to turn down any politically charged ad.

Posted by: rhody at December 11, 2007 8:04 PM

Actually, I’d prefer that NBC and all networks turn down all political ads through November next year – just on principle.

Posted by: msteven at December 12, 2007 3:28 PM
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