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. Paul from Kissimmee

    I'd rather watch the World Series coverage than Obama. This just further proves how arrogant he really is.

    October 29, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  2. Le Troubadour

    Hello MSNBC

    October 29, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  3. Fired Up - Ready to Go!

    Therefore, I the viewer, will aid in the decline of CNN's ratiings...whist watching our next POTUS on MSNBC.

    Thank God, we as Americans have options!

    Now, GOTV...

    October 29, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  4. Winnie Hussein . . . in Montana

    Well way to go CNN. Funny though that you advertise McCain will be on Larry King "after the paid address". So you won't air it, but you'll make hay off of it? Please. This election is getting ridiculous and you aren't helping.

    I am sick to death of McCain, Palin, the RNC, ACORN allegations that are essentially baseless, your lack of coverage of YPM, your coverage of Palin that always fails to note when a lie is a lie. If you don't correct the lies, you propagate them, period, you might as well just declare them the truth. Your coverage is seriously slipping.

    You haven't done a thing about all the rumors, innuendo and outright lies that are circulating on the Internet. That would make a nice piece, you know, and you would be doing the community a great service to point out those websites where people can fact check what they are reading.

    Jeez, get it together. Last night, Larry King just let his panelists lie and lie, they said things that have been proven, by your own fact checkers as untrue and Mr. King did not correct them. This is NOT journalism at its finest.

    You probably won't post this, but I'm glad I got it off my chest.

    October 29, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  5. Obamanic

    More and more I question CNN's balance but I guess this is a somewhat valid reason. Still, as I have done a lot recently, I will watch this on MSNBC. Watching MSNBC a LOT more recently.

    October 29, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  6. Spencer/VIRGINIA

    McCain is so dumb. The World Series game was scheduled for Monday night. It's unfortunate that Sen. Obama's infomercial will briefly interrupt this predictable game. I bet the players even want to see Sen. Obama's message. McCain is such a hater. Because he didn't do it first, he has to find something negative to say about it. What a divisive guy he is. If McCain does win the election, I wonder how he plans to unite the country. Because if he does win, this country will be deeply divided and I don't think he's capable of uniting everyone. Him and his VP have torn this country apart. They are not what the country needs NOW.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 08

    October 29, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  7. McCain08

    It's about time that the media, especially CNN, is fair. Maybe all the complaints about double standards has been heard.

    October 29, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  8. Trysh in Los Angeles

    I'm a huge Obama supporter and I have to agree with this one. It will make them look biased and put them in league with Fox News. Obama will get enough coverage and it will replay online. They still have to be a reliable news source after Nov. 4th.

    October 29, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  9. ME

    Maybe the LA Times video of Obama and Khalidi will be aired tonight during BO's infommercial.

    October 29, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  10. howl

    No worries. Those who don't watch it on CNN will still hear about it or see it on another network. Besides, the American public have already decided that enough is enough. Change is a-coming!

    October 29, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  11. Brandon from Ohio

    Agreed w/ the others. That's okay CNN - you've been consistently bashing Obama lately and supporting Palin, especially Campbell Brown - I'll be sure to catch it on another Network and stay off of CNN tonight. Thanks for the update.

    October 29, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  12. Alissa in Kansas

    I'm usually watching MSNBC during that time slot anyways. 7pm on CNN is worthless. By the way... WHY THE HELL IS LOU DOBBS STILL ON???? Aren't you guys supose to be unbiased? That guys O'Reilly without all the yelling and insults.

    October 29, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  13. Zagazaw

    No one will delay the World Series game with an infomercial when I'm president," John McCain said Tuesday. WOW.
    What does the President have to do with sport or TV program? does McCain know the role of a President? does he beleive that they are in charge of the media?

    Fact check: Would Obama hike taxes on small businesses that employ 16 million?

    The Verdict: False. McCain uses an overly broad interpretation of the NFIB survey's figures — applying Obama's tax plan to those figures in a way that is highly unlikely to match reality.

    Fact check: McCain tax cuts give $200 billion to corporations, $4 billion to oil companies?

    The Verdict: True. Obama's statement accurately reflects two studies of McCain's tax proposals.

    October 29, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  14. Trish Hussein - PA

    Well it's there loss. I doubt many people will be watching CNN while this ad is running. I know I won't.

    October 29, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  15. Independent but Leaning

    Disgusting. But good for CNN. I just hope CNN doesn't lose its FCC license if he wins.

    I will be laughing when he loses on 11/4. This man spews falsehoods, and hides his past because he knows he is unfit. It would be a discgrace to this nation if he were elected.

    October 29, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  16. When shall you stop this deception!

    – Why are Sen. McCain and his team using Joe the Plumber to insinuate that "Obama's Presidency will mean the death of Israel"?
    – Why has Sen. McCain not allowed Sarah Palin as promised alone to do interview with LKL, if she is qualified to be a VP of USA?
    – Why is Sarah Palin’s windfall tax distribution to Alaskans not wealth distribution and “socialism”?
    – Why are those checks from Bush Administration last May not wealth distribution and “socialism”?

    Sarah Palin is a Fraud and must bet stopped before she messes up USA and the world!

    October 29, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  17. marc

    And this is news? Come on, it seems CNN is going tabloid!

    October 29, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  18. Nick Wright

    A naive and honestly pretty childish reaction. CNN thinks it's more important than the candidates they're paid to cover? Get over yourselves.

    I'll be watching it on NBC so I can see it in HD.

    October 29, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  19. Maggie

    Too bad for you CNN. Most of your programming is about the campaign anyway so why not let some of the undecideds learn a little more about Obama. McCain had the same opportunity but chose a different route - mainly dirty politics.

    October 29, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  20. SKI

    I wanted to know why is Samuel Wurzelbacher still being referred as "Joe the Plumber" when the whole country knows he is not a plumber with a license to perform his duties. Is it not the time to call him "JOE THE NOT SO PLUMBER" or "JOE THE UNLICENSED PLUMBER" or "JOE THE NON-TAX PAYER" ?

    The media should accurately portrait the sheer atrocities of McCAIN's camp in using Samuel Wurzelbacher spreading wrong notion all along.
    ENOUGH ALREADY.

    October 29, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  21. John

    Tell Campbell Brown she can vote for Palin in the next election. CNN is not the best political coverage team and I would rather hear the Obama piece than listen to the same tired old commentators that CNN puts on. Its clear that CNN plays both ends to try to generate excitement about the election to enhance their viewer ratings.. They remind me of the folks who did the intro into the WWF matches.

    October 29, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  22. Sunny

    I disagree with CNN's decision. We want to hear directly from the candidates as much as possible and decide on our own. Your political pundits who are usually biased provides a too much biased view and talk at length on unnecessary topics rahter than focusing on the main points. Your decision to not air Obama's 30 minute speech will make me view NBC more rather than CNN. You should have realized that this is an historic moment and the first time in US history that a presidential candiate is able to talk for 30 minutes on TV at his own expense. You have aired so many worthless shows and you think this is not important enough for us to watch in full? How many viewers would you think would switch to your channel when Obama is giving a full length speech on his economy plans today on other channels?

    October 29, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  23. Nina in Orlando

    Is anyone suprised? CNN clearly favors McShame!

    October 29, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  24. Michael watching from Canada

    I just watched Palin's energy speech.

    I am an engineer who has been involved in alternative energy technologies for over twenty years. Since when does being the Governor of an oil-producing state make them an expert on energy?

    Please do not think for a second that drilling for oil somehow gives someone knowledge on energy technology expertise, especially alternative energy.

    It is an insult, I repeat, an insult to remotely suggest that Palin is an expert on energy.

    Palin’s claims suggesting that, since she is the Governor of an oil drilling state, makes her an expert on energy is on the same level of naivety as her claims that she has extensive foreign policy experience with Russia due to Alaska’s proximity to Russia!!

    Let’s see (consistent with how Ms Palin pretends to establish credentials)…..

    ……if she were Governor of Michigan, does that mean she would be an expert in manufacturing cars!

    October 29, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  25. Mike From St. Louis

    I paid for it!
    Millions of others help to pay for it!
    We all need it!
    Let Barack speak.
    This type of advertising was paid for by the small contributors like me!

    Go Barack

    October 29, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
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