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. Republican for a better Country

    You dems are absolutley un-F*&%#@! believable! Your low life candidate has run BS attack adds from day one, even your candidate for senator and congress, you people whine about everything but yet when a News company such as CNN who has been bias against the Republican candidate for years decides it's in it's best interest not to air a commercial for your candidate you call it unfail and bias. I have a big box of tissue for you idioys!

    October 29, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  2. imagine

    Boy, $150K on clothes doesn't sound like much when you compare it with the $3m Obama is blowing so he can toot his horn one last time. How do the Kool-Aid drinkers rationalize that?

    October 29, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  3. james in s.c.

    shame on you CNN, you show sinister palin making a worthless "policy speech" in which i lost more brain cells listening that "whack job" extreme right winger!
    i guess i'll watch NBC to gain those brain cells back!!

    October 29, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  4. Countdown with Keith Olbermann

    Ofcourse CNN is completely pro-McCain, one of CNN's biggets sponsors is EXXON MOBILE. Imagine if one of Obama's top campaign advisors had called Biden a "whack job", CNN would be covering it night & day, but when one of McCain's TOP advisors just called Palin a "WHACK JOB" ACTUALLY then it's no big deal. CNN is FOX NEWS brother in law.

    October 29, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  5. CM in AR

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

    Keep dreamin Johnny Boy!

    October 29, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  6. Wayne in CA

    Your stupid...now i have just another good reason to stop watching CNN...as if Campbell Brown and Lou Dobbs wasn't enough...

    that's ok msnbc is covering it c-ya

    October 29, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  7. Cdn Living in Wisconsin

    Surprise, surprise ... tisk, tisk CNN ... you would rather fill the time with more Palin and Joe the Plumber .... mickey mouse reporting at it's best. Now here this .... WE ARE SICK OF THEM!!!! I too will watch election coverage from another channel.

    October 29, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  8. David

    Does CNN actually check facts? THe Obama campaign isn't the one that wanted the World Series delayed, it was Fox. Here's some actual facts for CNN.

    "Our first pitch for the world series is usually around 8:30 anyway – so we didn’t push back the game, it was really just about suspending the pre-game - you know, Joe Buck," said the account executive, Joe Coppola. "That’s all we did."

    He said World Series games this season have begun between 8:22 p.m. and 8:35 p.m.

    "We didn’t push back the game at all," he said. He also said Obama had initially arranged to buy the time only if the Series were over before Game Six (in fact, a rain-delayed Game Five will continue tomorrow night), but Fox then decided to sell the campaign the time whether or not the game was played.

    "By no means did they push to get us to accommodate them with Game Six," said Coppola, whom the Obama campaign suggested I call. "We’re just missing the pregame, which isn’t a big deal for us. It was a business decision."


    October 29, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  9. Jack

    Next job for Palin = FOX news reporter straight from Alaska.

    October 29, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  10. Joe Bless

    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure why CNN declined. They are afraid of RNC attack machine. Has any one noticed? CNN looks like FOX news these days. CNN is trying desperately to appear neutral and unbiased; But hard as CNN may try they are doing every thing possible to boost McCain. The result is Obama paid top $$ to air his 30 minute campaign message while McCain and his campaign will get free hour “rebuttal” air time from CNN. So much for neutrality!

    October 29, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  11. Joe

    This is absolutely disgusting and I'm pleased that CNN rejected it. This is no way to win the presidency. Our system has definitely failed in how a president is elected. Obama will win buy buying the Presidency. He will be considered a joke and will be a one termer.

    October 29, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  12. Arlene

    Last time I looked its still a free country!

    But CNN will be talking about the Obama AD for free, for hours
    and days. Great PR!

    October 29, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  13. PeopleVOTE

    CNN managment needs a lot of work they are all in tank with the GOP. I would start firing all the upper management then Lou Dobbs, Camble Brown, Wolf Plizer until that happens my station is MSNBC the best news in the world.

    October 29, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  14. Obama needs to get paid

    Tony Robbins ... I mean Ron Popeil ... I mean Sham-WOW ... I mean George Foreman ....

    Wait ... It's Barry the Informercial Guy

    October 29, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  15. Tolu

    So? Why's CNN even reporting this? So we don't think you were snubbed by the campaign, but understand clearly that it was you instead who actually snubbed them? Please give us a break! This is absolutely useless, pointless, and even perhaps petty information.

    October 29, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  16. Ken

    CNN and ABC are sister networks. No news here!!!

    Obama didn' t ask ABC for time slot till they went to him and they were not given.
    He didn't even shop with CNN. These are all lies!!

    October 29, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  17. Obama Voter!

    Maybe if the GOP hadn't spent all that money on clothes and make-up they'd be able to afford air time.

    October 29, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  18. Guido

    Are you folks watching the same CNN I watch in NJ?....CNN is in the tank for Obama. It's about time they start being true journalists!!!!!

    When's the LA times going to release the OBAMA video which shows him at a dinner with the "death to Isreal" crowd. Then we'll know who Obama really is.

    MCCAIN '08

    October 29, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  19. Paulette Cameron

    I am not pleased with this decision, therefore I will be watching MSNBC from now on. Thanks CNN for nothing.

    October 29, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  20. Andrew

    I'm voting for Obama, but I admire CNN (and ABC?) for deciding not to air his 30-minute ad. It supports what I've thought for some time, that CNN is about as close to unbiased as you're going to get with the major TV news networks. Leaning left, yes, but not as extremely biased as others (notably MSNBC, FOX). Although I haven't seen much of them, I suspect that ABC is also less biased.

    October 29, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  21. Diane Panama City Fl

    Although disappointed, I support CNN's decision. We have a free press in this country. Let's keep it that way. I agree, CNN's ratings may probably be down for that half hour, but I will turn the channel back once Senator Obama's ad has aired elsewhere. I like the analysis and airing of both sides of the poltical discussion that I get on CNN.

    October 29, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  22. Mick

    Air or do not what does it matter? CNN has moved slowly to the right as this campaign has progressed. No Bias No Bull My Foot!

    October 29, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  23. Margaux B

    Hey would everyone give CNN a break here! For someone who travels around the world all the time, if it wasn't for CNN I would not know what was going on. They do cover both sides, I know because I get mad when you are not on my side! 🙂

    FOX covers almost only sensational American news and the election and are extremely biased. FOX anchors, constantly use the term "our candidate" referring to McCain. It is frightening to me that people around the world see that view.

    October 29, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  24. Linda L

    I notice that while CNN declined to run the Obama ad, they have no compunction about running the McCain campaign's vile attack ads and having McCain on Larry King tonite to further attack, mislead and distort anything Obama says or does. Pathetic!

    October 29, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  25. Hillary for McCain

    I can't believe they have FOX in their mind they hate FOX. It's OK for FOX to do it because you all Obama's supporters move to FOX any way.

    October 29, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
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