Boycott CBS During Super Bowl Halftime

Update: As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, CBS is still refusing to air Moveon.org’s “Bush In 30 Seconds” ad during the Super Bowl. This refusal has sparked quite a reaction, drawing the ire of many congressman, organizations, and individuals. Here is an e-mail I received from Moveon.org today detailing the reaction and proposing a one-minute boycott of the Super Bowl halftime show to watch the ad on CNN:

Dear friend of MoveOn,

The CBS networks still refuses to run our winning ad in the Bush in 30 Seconds ad contest during the Super Bowl. The MoveOn.org non-partisan campaign to get CBS to air issue ads continues, but we’re not going to let CBS’s censorship stop us in the mean time. That’s why we’re spending over $1 million to air the ad in our swing states and nation-wide on other channels – starting with two spots on CNN that will air during the Super Bowl half time.

This Sunday, during the Super Bowl half time show, join us in changing channels on CBS. At 8:10pm and 8:35pm EST, switch over to CNN to watch “Child’s Pay” on a channel which doesn’t censor its ads. We’d like to keep a tally of the number of people who participate – you can sign up here.

The number of groups, individuals, and newspapers that have called on CBS to run our ad is remarkable. The National Organization for Women and the American Civil Liberties Union have asked their own members to call CBS. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) gave a powerful speech about CBS on the floor of the Senate, saying, “Maybe network executives at CBS are so afraid of political pressure from the right wing and their business advertisers who are in league with the right wing politics of America that they are afraid to put anything on the air that might in fact make things uncomfortable. If that is the case, it is time for CBS to announce the name of their network is the ‘Conservative Broadcasting System’ and come clean with American viewers.”

28 members of the House of Representatives wrote a letter to CBS which stated, “The choice not to run this paid advertisement appears to be part of a disturbing pattern on CBS’s part to bow to the wishes of the Republican National Committee. We remember well CBS’s remarkable decision this fall to self-censor at the direction of GOP pressure. The network shamefully cancelled a broadcast about former President Ronald Reagan which Republican partisans considered insufficiently flattering.” Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) wrote a separate letter to CBS urging them to reconsider their decision.

Today, the L.A. Times printed an Op-Ed piece of ours which lays out the case against CBS’s censorship. That’s attached below. But the editorial pages of the Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, and many other papers came out in our favor as well. As the Globe wrote, “MoveOn.org’s 30-second ad, which has aired on CNN, is a gentle yet powerful depiction of how hard today’s children will have to work to pay off the country’s mounting deficit. That’s a vital message that might get lost in a year of campaign rhetoric, and it deserves a response from the White House in its own 30 seconds of imagery. America, sitting on the couch, junk food in hand, just might sit up and want to know more.”

Luckily, there are still some networks that do allow the free exchange of ideas. Please join the one-minute boycott: at Super Bowl halftime, switch to CNN and watch “Child’s Pay,” and let us know.

Thanks for all you do,

–Adam, Carrie, Eli, James, Joan, Laura, Noah, Peter, Wes, and Zack

The MoveOn.org Team

January 30th, 2003

I plan on switching over to support this cause, although I usually avoid the horrible halftime show anyway… :-p

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