January 27, 2004

Do you has?

Filed under: Uncategorized — tomemos @ 10:40 pm

Like so many good leftists, I am constantly besieged with e-mails from They urge me to sign petitions, to give money, and to pass the e-mails on to my friends. I usually sign, I very occasionally give a little money, but I almost never forward the e-mails. (Maybe the people in my e-mail circle would disagree.) I don’t like bugging people all the time; I figure if they want to hear from MoveOn, they’ll sign up themselves.

But this one I’m going to make a stink about. As you may have heard, MoveOn had a big contest where they invited people to make anti-Bush ads, with the winner to be aired on national TV. They had the contest, they picked the ad–a pretty good one–and they went to CBS to buy airtime during the Super Bowl. But CBS refused to air the ad.

There will be beer ads during the Super Bowl, and ads by tobacco companies, and a government-funded anti-drug ad. But the MoveOn ad (along with an ad PETA wanted to run) is “too controversial” to air.

Well, who the hell cares if it’s controversial? I think it’s controversial, or should be, to assert that there’s a link between someone smoking weed and a little girl drowning. I often take issue with ads that assert that medication or electronics will solve all your problems. No one’s shooting down those ads. MoveOn has a product to sell–Defeat Bush–and it’s got the funds to advertise it, but CBS isn’t going for it. Everyone knows that there’s no opportunity for free speech in the mainstream media. But now the American people can’t even get the commercially-available kind.

It’s outrageous. And plus I paid ten bucks for that ad to be aired.

Anyway, the ad is definitely worth watching. You’ll find it here. Once you’ve watched it, sign the petition to complain to CBS. And hey, sign up for MoveOn’s e-mails while you’re there.



  1. dear toms friends, i think youre cute. tom, will you share?

    Comment by alex — January 27, 2004 @ 10:53 pm

  2. I want to read CBS’ official explanation. I got the same e-mail, signed the same petition, but they didn’t have a link to CBS’ side of the story, and i’ve had no luck checking their website. Minor hypocrisy from a group calling for ‘both sides of the issue’ to be aired. I want to read the source material, see if literally all they said was it was too controversial.


    Comment by Brian — January 28, 2004 @ 12:09 am

  3. Minor hypocrisy? Whatever. Only one side is ever fucking aired. Rejecting this commercial is offensive and infuriating, making it very clear that CBS doesn’t understand what controversy is. Maybe there’s another reason they rejected it – but what could that reason be? I, too, would love to read the explanation, but maybe there simply isn’t one available to the public. Whatever the reason is, it’s bullshit – the commercial is well-produced, well directed, effective, and thought-provoking. What else could you want?

    Comment by Bret — January 28, 2004 @ 9:40 am

  4. Yeah, I’m with Bret. I’m vaguely interested in CBS’s response, but I’m pretty sure that whatever it is, I disagree. The ad isn’t offensive, or insulting. It’s obvious to me that they’re rejecting it out of political expediency. And the fact that I can’t find any kind of answer on CBS’s webpage, not a press release or anything, indicates to me that they know they don’t have a leg to stand on–besides, “It’s our airspace, we’ll sell it to who we want.”

    Comment by Tom — January 28, 2004 @ 10:39 am

  5. I’ll probably disagree with them too. But i want to disagree with THEM, not with the secondhand quoting of a single word of their rejection. I’m tired of being called to arms without being told the PRECISE reason why. Tom; do you remember when we were all preparing the march on Washington about Iraq, and i asked the lady giving us a pep talk if the administration had any specific reasons as to why we were attacking Saddam at that moment? Like, if he’d done anything the last month or so that Bush was seizing on as an excuse. I knew attacking Iraq was stupid, and nothing used for an excuse would change my mind. But when i enter into a debate, i want to know as much as possible about my opponents’ arguments, so that i can prepare counterarguments. As you’ll recall, the lady didn’t answer my question.

    If we blindly respond to any call without being given information about it, our motivations may be purer and our results better for everyone, but our methods will be no more informed and fair & balanced than the talking sacks of clothing we’re battling.


    Comment by Brian — January 28, 2004 @ 11:55 am

  6. May I play devil’s advocate for a moment.

    CBS isn’t running the ad because it is not what its market wants—people do not watch the superbow(e)l for polictical enlightenment. In fact, they may turn off the television over something like move-on’s ad. Major sponsers such as Budweiser might pull out for this reason. Big loss for CBS, they aren’t going to risk it. Further, like Massengil, anti-Bush is not a product corporate America thinks superbowl watchers will buy.
    Look at it as a business decision, not a “we hate liberals” decision. (Remember, the right wing wants us splitting hairs over shit like this–makes it easier for them to do their evil work.)

    Comment by AM — January 28, 2004 @ 6:06 pm

  7. But they ARE showing White House ads, apparently. The White House has no product to sell that we aren’t already buying, and the ads aren’t going to be as entertaining as the clever beer commercials that people look forward to.

    Also, I don’t see how one not-so-entertaining ad is going to make other sponsers want to pull out. I don’t really think that they think people are going to be turning off their TVs in the middle of the Superbowl.

    Comment by julie — January 28, 2004 @ 8:15 pm

  8. Tv funny..

    Remember that one Superbowl ad with the cat herders? Or the monkey with the chainsaw?

    I repeat. MONKEY. With a CHAINSAW.

    Comment by kindle — January 28, 2004 @ 10:43 pm

  9. they should air it on pay-per-view right at the end of the lingerie bowl, when boys across america are confusedly wiping drool off chins and most vulnerable to important advertisements

    rock the vote, angie everhart

    Comment by alex — January 28, 2004 @ 11:17 pm

  10. I don’t know about this whole “business decision” or “what the market wants” thing… remember last year (or maybe the year before) when they ran those “if you buy drugs you’re a terrorist” ads during the game? Who wants to see that when they’re watching a freaking sporting event? With a republican in the white house, big companies with lots of money like CBS are better off. It’s all political, when it comes down to it. Plus, the ad is so inoffensive, especially compared to all the other stuff. Damn it all.

    Comment by Bret — January 29, 2004 @ 12:03 pm

  11. Well, they finally gave CBS a motive in today’s e-mail. There’s a bill before Congress to give media conglomerates more leeway. At least now there’s a direct “don’t piss off the guys who could give us stuff” reason, rather than general “big business in bed with Republicans” sentiment.

    I still wanna read their reason, though.


    Comment by Brian — January 30, 2004 @ 1:04 pm

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