CBS Rejects MoveOn’s Super Bowl Ad

You couldn’t throw the commodity of your choice into a distant trashbin without hitting someone who’d like air time during the Super Bowl. This crop of buyers includes MoveOn, which wants to run an ad that points out who’s going to pay for the deficit in the federal budget. (CBS has also refused to air an ad from PETA.)

Why would CBS refuse to air a paid ad that doesn’t contain nudity, prohibited words, or positive messages about genocide? It might be because they seek favor from the party in power.

I think I’ll stop there. The more I poke around the net for links and information, the more I see that the fact of CBS refusing MoveOn’s ad is getting plrenty of coverage—on the web, at least. I’ve finally found one piece that has a quote from someone at CBS who claims they’re not taking sides.

I could say more, but I need to get some paying work done.

Author: Gary

Writer and editor living in Seattle.

10 thoughts on “CBS Rejects MoveOn’s Super Bowl Ad”

  1. CBS also cancelled the Reagan mini-series a few months back because, some sources say, of the same type of political pressure.

    Fox News, CBS, who’s next? Those of us who are too cheap for cable are going to find ourselves moving the television in to the basement. Or throwing it out a window. I’m really going to miss the Simpsons.

  2. I read a while back about that report on people who get their news from FOX News; I just printed out the 20-something page report from the web site of the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA). Something I was reading this morning said that CBS News came in second to FOX News in its impaired accuracy on Iraq—maybe it was PIPA’s report.

    Someone watching this Super Bowl (the last one I watched was XVI), could print this list of ads from Ad Age and check off the aired ads as they appear.

  3. That’s a great ad. I added my name to the petition for CBS to show it. We saw Gore Vidal speak last night and he talked about the unwillingness of the media to really tell us about the current administration. This is just another example.

    By the way, you can see other ads in the same vein at

  4. my problem is that moveon decided to ally itself with peta over this issue. the ads really have little to do with each other in scope or message.

    beyond the fact that peta’s ad is slightly misleading (it’s the saturated fats found within meat (and many other products) that can lead to impotence), cbs is completely within its rights to reject an ad for possibly being offensive or otherwise distasteful to its audience. netowrks have a long history of rejecting ads they don’t feel are appropriate to air.

    i support moveon & hope that the ad does get to run. heck, i’ve heard it has bipartisan support as many congressional republicans are just as worried about the deficit (you’d think they’d do something about it). i just won’t sign the petition.

  5. after looking at the ad age list, i might be changing my previously strident view. moveon states that there are ads sponsored by tobabcco, but they are anti-smoking ads, and the bush admin ad is a anti-drug use ad – where as i’d been under the impression that it was a ‘pro-white house’ spot. the move on text made it seem they wanted equal time with the bush administration to address the bush administration.

    i still want to see that ad run, and i still think CBS should run it – i’m just considering the subtleties of the issue now (and tangentially, thinking about how access to information about the issues at hand can moderate an opinion). also, what are the alternatives? couldn’t moveon run the spot during the final episode of friends, say? who ELSE doesn’t get to run an ad?

    aside: we see a lot of ads here in the eurozone that would NEVER play on US airtime. (see david’s 1/12 post, 10 ads american won’t see)

  6. Yeah, I think the real driver of the irk for me is the feeling that MoveOn’s ad presents a far more important message—and they were ready to pay someone to get the word out—than anything else viewers are going to see during that time period.

  7. also under the heading of irksome: it’s not so much MoveOn that was ready to pay, but whoever donated the money to run the ad. that’s We The People, not some beer or fast food company.

  8. Yeah, I was one of those who donated.

    I just re-read the very lightly colored statement of intent at the top of the home page of Nonfamous: "…with an effort to keep paranoia at the lowest healthy level". I feel an urge to make sure my reactionary thoughts don’t make it to publication, and at the same time, I wonder if I might not yet be paranoid enough.

  9. On that note Gary, David and I (the nonfamous junta/editorial board) have been steadily raising the “healthy paranoia level.” To paraphrase an old saw, “it’s not paranoia when the country really is going to hell in a handbasket.” In sum, I think the vast majority of our fellow countrymen are not NEARLY paranoid enough.

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