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. Mavwreck

    Dr Roy-you are delusional

    October 29, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  2. MG

    Considering how CNN has been teaming with Fox to help CNN get McCain elected, it doesn't surprise me. Afterall, it is in your corporate interest to get more republican big-business tax cuts.

    Honestly. Every other word on CNN for the last month is either "Sarah" or "Palin". Even the stories on this blog are favorable to McCain/Palin nearly 3 to 1. I would bet anything that if McCain had enough money for this type of ad you would air it.

    Hopefully you will learn your lesson and not allow yourselves to be bullied into favoring the republicans in the next election.

    October 29, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  3. Asian for Obama

    It's alright if CNN doesn't show it. It won't change my vote as the wife and I just voted for Obama today!

    October 29, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  4. Linda

    I'll be watching it on MSNBC so thanks but no thanks.....won't be tuning in to listen to Campbell's No Bias No Bull which is a complete joke but hey, she was pretty good on The Daily Show.... someone tell me when she has a positive message about Obama, then I'll listen. Her negativity is pretty disgusting.

    October 29, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  5. Claudia J. Tripp

    McCain if he had the money would be doing the same thing. Never
    think he would not. McCain had the same opportunity to not use
    Federal money he chose not to..McCain knew he could never raise
    the kind of money Obama could. He is an angry, petty old man.
    I will be watching Obama on one of the other networks.

    October 29, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  6. Billy

    So CNN decided that "the people" would rather listen to your pundits talk than, you know, the actual candidates. I'm honestly following MSNBC more anyway.

    October 29, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  7. PA Voter

    Waste of money for Philly fans..I know what I'll be watching tonight...World Series.... GO PHILLIES!!! GO MCCAIN!!!!

    October 29, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  8. Proud to be American

    CNN you will miss me for thirty minutes tonight ... your bad. I will watch Obama on MSNBC or maybe just NBC .... hum BET???? the choices is amazing..... and I want to know the Plan for the next President of the USA!

    **************** Obama and Biden 2008! Change is coming!!!! ************

    October 29, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  9. David, Silver Spring, MD

    CNN, thank you for letting me know you won't be broadcasting Obama's special. Now I know not to tune in until after it's over. Then I can hear David Gergen, CNN's best political analyst, discuss it rationally.

    I don't have a problem with CNN not wanting to air the spot; we've seen how John McCain reacts when he feels slighted. But why do you need to tell us about it?

    October 29, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  10. faye

    I think it is silly that CNN turned down the chance to air the ad...CNN is going to cover the ad anyway, so it was a silly choice. I think they are trying to be fair and balanced and are putting an equivalency that does not need to be there.
    For example, why does CNN not put Nader, Barr and the guy from the socialist party on more often, or Cynthia Mckinney, I actually havent seen her on CNN at all.
    This is a big deal, you guys are going to show spots and have commentary on it anyways, so why not....?
    Dont get it

    October 29, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  11. Joe from Mahwah, NJ

    While I certainly respect CNN's decision, I imagine that Obama will still be getting considerable news time on that channel the same evening as President Clinton will be doing a joint rally with him plus there will be analysis of the commercial anyways by there group of respected pundits.

    October 29, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  12. salem

    CNN-fine about your decision....just don't whine about your ratings drop. After all, this 30 Obama segment IS NEWS. But you go ahead and miss it....and then you'll be forced to show excerpts on your news show...for FREE.

    Go MSNBC--Keith and Rachel are fearless and SMART, even though palin/mccain have tried to convince us that BEING SMART IS un-American!!!

    October 29, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  13. Maggie VT

    Maggie, VT

    figures, they are in the tank for McCain.

    October 29, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  14. WillCNNpostmycomment?

    And why are you proud of this, CNN?

    October 29, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  15. Dr. Mimi De La Cruz

    CNN IS NOT KEEPING UP WITH THE TIMES.

    TED TURNER DID A BETTER JOB.

    COVERING YOURSELVES IS NOT MUCH OF A STORY.

    October 29, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  16. Barb

    I have been a CNN watcher for YEARS. My family tease be about only having one channel CNN. I go on vacation and I ask everywhere I go that have a TV if they mind putting it on CNN. My husband purchased another TV so we would not have to fight about me having the TV on CNN all the time.
    Effective Immediately, I will NO LONGER WATCH CNN and I know many others that feels the same way.

    CNN you have done a huge disjustice to your long time watchers. I have had hundread of emails about this from my dedicated CNN friends since this information came out.

    CNN YOU DISAPPOINT ME IN A BIG WAY!!!

    October 29, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  17. megg

    No you didn't! Obama had asked other major networks apart from you CNN and ABC because you are sister networks!

    October 29, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  18. Justin

    Maybe if Obama would have been honest to begin with on the public financing this wouldnt be an issue. Unbelievable the Barackobots and money will win this election. America brace yourselves!!!

    October 29, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  19. Joe MN

    Thanks ... I get tired of switching between you and MSNBC anyway ... this way I can just stay there.

    October 29, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  20. undecided

    CNN why are't you repoting on this??????

    Do YOU have a 401K ??

    Have you heard what a group of democRATs are conspiring to do to YOUR 401K ??

    These deomocRATs want to take YOUR 401K out of the market, put it in the GOVERNMENT's hands, and convert it into 3% bearing "T" Bills. To "sugar coat" this, they will give you the value ( if you can prove it ) that it was on August 31, 2008 before the stock market went crazy.

    At first it sounds like a pretty good deal doesn't it? And for retired people it might be, but for the rest of us it isn't because the stock market will rebound and when it does, the people who stick it out will make a lot of money in their 401K's. It is a matter of history, and history shows us that the stock market will gain anywhere from 7% to 18% in a normal year which is a far cry from the the 3% "T" Bills that the Government is offering which barely keeps up with INFLATION.

    The GOVERNMENT, at retirement, will then send you 1 check (social security and T Bill) to cover YOUR retirement. And remember that this is the same GOVERNMENT that BANKRUPTED YOUR social security in the first place.

    Do YOU really want the democRATically controlled GOVERNMENT, or ANY GOVERNMENT for that matter controlling YOUR money????

    This is a disaster waiting to happen if these coniving democRATs have their way.

    Why do I say that you ask? It is because YOUR 401K money, that is invested in the stock market, is the capital that is invested in businesses, keeps businesses afloat, and allows for business expansion. If all of YOUR 401K money is removed from the stock market and placed into the GOVERNMENT's hands, you can say goodbye recession and hello DEPRESSION, because this will be 100 times worse than the credit crunch that we are now experiencing.

    It is like, these people in government have absolutely no idea how the economy works, which is really scarry.

    These people MUST be stopped at all cost!!!

    *** WAKE UP AMERICA ***

    October 29, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  21. sean

    All of you who are voting for obama are causing the problems. The issue at hand is the fact that CNN falls for McCain not for Obama so when you try and say things about race it makes you look bad beacuse you try and make it a race game and im so sorry but McCain just looks like the best canidate right now. So stop all you racest comments and grow up.

    October 29, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  22. sky

    ...seems a strange and silly choice not to run it....but....there are plenty of other places to watch it. About the Campbell Brown thing.....its not the subject matter. You guys should cover every angle of every issue....even if it is a dead issue. But it is the inflammatory way she titles her article. Like throwing gas on a bonfire when all you wanted to do was roast a marshmellow. Go ahead and tell us all about it again Campbell and throw in a little Rev Wright while you are at it if it makes you feel better but in giving your article that inflammamatory title you said more about yourself and your style of reporting than anything you have ever done....and while I was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt before....now you are over for me. Inaccurate and spinning is not news to me.

    October 29, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  23. ines

    Whatever network I watch the Obama speech on is the one I will stay with.

    Viewership is not a dirty word CNN.

    October 29, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  24. Beth

    Who cares CNN!! We can watch on some other network. I guess the GOP pays more money to you paint McCain in a better light.
    A lot of people have stopped watching you with your annoying political panels, talking about the same things over and over and over again. It's become boring, one sided. Hope your ratings keep going down.

    October 29, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  25. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    WOW FoxNews chose to air this and CNN did not??? When are the 7 horses of the apocolypse going to show up??

    October 29, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
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