October 29th, 2008
10:28 AM ET
14 years ago

CNN declines Obama camp ad request

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/10/01/campaign.wrap/art.obama.afp.gi.jpg caption="CNN turned down the Obama campaign's request to air a 30-minute campaign ad tonight."]
(CNN) - The Obama campaign asked CNN to air its 30-minute campaign ad, scheduled for Wednesday evening, but the network turned them down.

“CNN was approached by the Obama campaign and declined their request,” the network said in a Tuesday statement. “We did not want to pre-empt our programming lineup with a 30-minute campaign commercial. We prefer to use our air to continue to cover the campaign, candidates and issues like we always do from all points of view with the best political team on television.”

Fox News Channel – which is a separate network from FOX – was not asked to air the ad. The half hour infomercial which will be airing on CBS, NBC, FOX television, MSNBC, Univision, BET and TV One at a reported cost of $3 million to the campaign. ABC said it couldn’t come to an agreement in time to meet the Obama campaigns requirement to run it in that time slot.

The Obama camp’s purchase drew headlines when the GOP blasted Major League Baseball’s decision to delay the start of its World Series broadcast on FOX television scheduled for that night, if the series were to call for a sixth game, to accommodate the buy. A Fox executive responsible for the buy said the infomercial would replace pre-game programming, but would not delay the airing of the game. Nonetheless, the Republican candidate took a swing. "No one will delay the World Series game with an infomercial when I'm president," John McCain said Tuesday.

The last pre-election programming of this type came during the 1992 race, when Ross Perot paid for similar time blocs on network television shortly before Election Day.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • CNN
soundoff (388 Responses)
  1. Mary

    What is Campbell Brown's stress?

    October 29, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  2. LE

    I susupect CNN will unofficially cover it by "analyzing it, discussing it etc" later on. I also suspect everyone will be watching it on the other networks and CNN will lose ratings during that time. McCain is a phony if he had the money he absolutely would do his own commercial! GO OBAMA.

    October 29, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  3. SB in NoVa

    CNN ... what a disappointment! I've been a faithful reader, writer and watcher. Recently, I have been finding more useful info on Olbermann and Maddow anyhow. See ya ...

    Obama/Biden 08 and beyond!
    TURN VA BLUE!!!

    October 29, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  4. Lainie

    As a steady CNN viewer, I believe this is a partisan decision because of a bias toward McCain-Palin. It's increasingly obvious, especially in Campbell Brown. Every day I'm more disappointed in both the coverage and your constant self-promotion by journalists - it's not their job to constantly define you as "the best political team on television" and you should stop asking them to pimp the station.

    October 29, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  5. oh wow...

    SO what do want? A cookie?? Why are you even telling us about this? Thats fine that you didn't accept the Obama infomercial, I will just be watching on one of the other stations you listed...so Thanks!! You can continue your coverage with Campbell Brown on and everyone else will be watching Obama!! Also..why wouldn't you want to air the infomercial..after it airs...it will be all your analysts will be talking about, you guys make no sense!

    October 29, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  6. Rick K

    While you are providing fair and balanced coverage of Sarah Palin's wardrobe and McCain campaign name-calling, I will tune into MSNBC.

    In doing so, I will understand that I'm seeing one side of a story, but at least it won't be a story about who's a Diva or what Joe Biden really, really meant when he said XYZ.

    October 29, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  7. America demands answers

    Thanks CNN for coming out and declining the infomercial...its ok I will catch it also on MSNBC its cool will Rachel and Keith..Guys they fantactic. Gov Palin practise Socialism in Alaska no wonder she is calling Sen Obama one...Now it makes more sence to me...
    Vote Obama/Biden

    October 29, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  8. David Orbach, New York, NY

    Yes, because the World Series takes precedence over the direction that our sadly troubled country will take over the next four years.

    October 29, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  9. Barbara Caniff

    I wondered why I switched from CNN to MSNBC. Now I know. Shame on you CNN. GO OBAMA

    October 29, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  10. Bria

    CNN-What are you afraid of? I'll go to MSNBC.

    October 29, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  11. GINA

    If OLD NAVY (McCain) had the money to run his mouth for 30 minutes on primetime tv...he'd hold up the World Series..the Super Bowl and antyhing else if he thought it would help him win the election.So don't hate the player...hate the game, John...if you know what I mean....LOL

    October 29, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  12. Mel B.

    Let's see if there is going to be a NO BIAS NO BULL segmant ran on this and let see how biased it will or won't be.

    Who is going to be watching CNN anyway while that is on? You are going to be commenting on it as it is being aired or shortly thereafter anyway.

    October 29, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  13. Bob - Maryland

    So, If McCain becomes president, he controls Major Leage Baseball schedules and TV stations' decisions? Sounds like socialism to me.

    October 29, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  14. Go Bama

    GO OBAMA – We the People are with you!

    Get out and vote the republicans out of office

    VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE

    WE'RE TAKING BACK OUR COUNTRY!!!

    October 29, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  15. ThirtySomethingEgghead from SF

    That's fine, I forgive you guys. But, please get rid of Leslie Sanchez; She's so irritating.

    October 29, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  16. Bea

    and CNN is telling us this because??? This just meant i wont watch CNN...it is no big deal

    October 29, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  17. PJ

    I"ll be watching MSNBC all the time now, Go Obama.
    And go Keith and Chris, and Rachel.

    October 29, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  18. Dan

    "No one will delay the World Series game with an infomercial when I'm president," John McCain said Tuesday.

    And how exactly would you stop it, John? Television networks are private entities who can schedule programming as they see fit. MLB is pretty much under Selig's command. So what exactly would you do.

    I can understand his frustration, but oh well. You lose, dude!

    October 29, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  19. sky

    So, why is it news that you turned him down? Why do I care who you said "no" to? It just means I wont be watching CNN during that time slot......I guess your time slot was SO important and SO worthwhile that you ethically thought you had to protect it....even if it means absolutely no one on the planet will be watching you. yeah.....I guess its not just the Republicans who are making stupid moves lately.....i dont really care actually....but why announce it.....:" hey look at stupid over here".....

    October 29, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  20. avni

    Hey CNN - Campbell Brown has apparently changed her theme of "No Bull No Bias"... Perhaps FOX should hire her.. Another alternative she can go and stump for Sarah Palin and justify how spending 150K is fine and talk abt how Obama broke his promise!! Brown and Lou Dobbs could just have a combined show!! Both of them are "closet Rednecks"!!

    October 29, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  21. ann

    why you are in the tank for old man mac

    October 29, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  22. Voted Early

    McCain reminds me of Charlie Brown. Just when he is about to kick the ball Palin takes it away from him .....

    October 29, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  23. Eura2488

    WOW.... Well I guess I have to move my Channel to MSNBC..

    October 29, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  24. bill

    Undecided Americans. Vote for whoever reflects your real values and beliefs. I appeal to you to ask yourself the real questoin of how much your support for Obama is driven from frustration and emotion.

    Download the speech on Energy that Sarah Palin just gave.

    Find the complete audio of Obamas own words form his 2001 radio interview. Unspun and unchecked, these are a thoughtful, reasoned testiment to the way he wants to take the country to a land of economic justice and redistributed wealth.

    If after that you still think you know enough about him to trust unfettered and unchecked power to he, Pelosi, and Reid. It is impossible to unite from the extreme. McCain has proven centrist leadership, we have not words but actions to look at and see his sticking to this principle even when it may hurt him.

    Look even now, where are the dreaded "swiftboat" tactics, where is the ever so damaging Rev Wright speeches? For all the talk of how mean spirited the campaign is, John McCain has blocked all attempts to bring those out. Again even if it may hurt his numbers.

    Vote your heart, Vote your head, we will need to come together to get out of this, vote who you think can really do that.

    October 29, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  25. Pablo

    It's really impressing and honorable of you, CNN. Both Democrats and Republicans are against you, for what? Doing the right thing? Republicans cannot say you're bias. Democrats may be mad at this but they ultimately know that a network that covers both sides of a history cannot throw to the garvish everything that has been done for an 30-minute ad that could be considered as special programming.

    October 29, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16