Tom McFeely is the National Catholic Register’s News Editor. He lives in British Columbia.
Why is this life-affirming ad too hot for network TV to handle?
Last month, NBC sacked plans by CatholicVote.org, the producers of the ad, to air it during the Super Bowl broadcast.
Now CNN has rejected CatholicVote.org’s request to purchase a slot to air it during CNN’s coverage of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address.
According to this press release from Fidelis, the parent organization of CatholicVote.org, a CNN official said the network is refusing to broadcast of the ad because it “suggests a position in favor of the advocacy message, without having permission of the persons involved.”
Since the ad celebrates the life of Barack Obama and doesn’t even mention the dreaded “A” word — abortion — CNN’s response is puzzling.
“This is absurd,” Fidelis president Brian Burch said in the press release. “Our ad does not suggest that Barack Obama is pro-life. Instead, we make the obvious point that Obama’s mother gave birth to a child that ultimately became the first African-American president. This is a fact, not an opinion.”
CNN’s stated reason for rejected the pro-life ad is all the more dubious given the network’s willingness in the past to air a pro-abortion ad sponsored by NARAL.
In 2005, CNN aired a NARAL ad “that suggested that then Judge John Roberts supported violence against abortion clinics,” Fidelis says in its press release. “FactCheck.org described the NARAL ad: ‘An abortion-rights group is running an attack ad accusing Supreme Court nominee John Roberts of filing legal papers ‘supporting . . . a convicted clinic bomber’ and of having an ideology that ‘leads him to excuse violence against other Americans.’ It shows images of a bombed clinic in Birmingham, Ala. The ad is false.’”
Said Burch, “CNN is willing to run ads insinuating that a federal judge supports violent criminal activity, but it won’t allow an ad celebrating the life of Barack Obama. It’s a double standard from bizarro world.”