Alert from MoveOn:
We didn't think the hypocrisy at CBS headquarters could get any worse. But it just did.
As you know, CBS refused to run MoveOn Voter Fund's "Child's Pay" ad -- perhaps the most tasteful and uncontroversial advocacy ad in history -- during the Super Bowl. CBS executives claimed they had a blanket policy against all so-called "issue" ads.
Yesterday, we learned that the network plans to broadcast an ad promoting the Bush Medicare prescription drug
law. This is part of a $13 million taxpayer-financed TV campaign to take the heat off the White House for pushing through a drug plan that benefits drug companies and insurance companies more than Medicare recipients.
The White House ad features the tagline "Same Medicare. More Benefits." But a report by Consumers Union last month said that most people covered by Medicare will wind up spending more for prescription drugs, as a result of the provisions in the law which favor drug companies. According to the Washington Post, the campaign is intended "to counteract Democratic criticism that changes to the (Medicare) program will harm older Americans."
If that isn't a controversial issue ad, we don't know what is. But since CBS appears to be changing its policy, our Voter Fund has submitted our own Medicare ad which exposes the facts behind this spin campaign to run on CBS. So far, we haven't heard back. Please give CBS a call today to let them know that they need to either pull the White House ads or run ours.
You can reach CBS at:
Phone (CBS Comment Line): (212) 975-3247
Web form: http://www.cbs.com/info/user_services/fb_global_form.shtml
After you've called or emailed, please help us track the number of calls and emails that are pouring in by going to: http://www.moveonvoterfund.org/cbs.html
We're spreading out the calls across a number of relevant CBS numbers, so hopefully you won't get a busy signal. Also, we have no quarrel with CBS News or any CBS journalists, who have actually given fair coverage to CBS Corporate's unfair decision. Please don't call the CBS news desk.
There's another issue involved here that needs to be taken very seriously: if Bush's Medicare ad is intended to function as a campaign ad (and that clearly appears to be the case) then this may constitute a criminal election law violation. In fact, the ad company which made the ad which will air on CBS also works for the Bush/Cheney re-election committee. We've put in a Freedom of Information Act request to the Department of Health and Human Services to begin the process of establishing the facts in this case.
For now, help us hold CBS accountable by asking them to stop running the Bush Medicare ad -- or to accept ours.
What's particularly outrageous is that they're funding the ad using $9M from a program to "improve Medicare". Even if the ad's statements were true and non-controversial, how would this advertisement improve Medicare?
Anyone wanna place wagers on how many of the networks will even bother to mention this? They've still barely touched the attempt by House leadership to bribe a House member on the floor, during the vote on the Medicare bill.