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. JT

    What is wrong with cnn? Why did you guys turn down the Obama campaigns request to air their ad. I am upset with your decision. It makes no sense. Are you guys trying to appear 'neutral' by doing this? surely there was a way of squeezing the 30-minute during prime-time. Come on cnn, that was not good at all.

    October 29, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  2. Wise White Guy

    I will certainly keep that in mind as i consider which channel i watch. Guess i will watch it on MSNBC and keep that channel on for news. I expect cnn will get the delete on my channel lineup.

    October 29, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  3. Camden from mt

    Interesting. Is this cnn's way of saying we are not biased!?!?

    Anywho guess peole will have to watch other channels.

    October 29, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  4. D.S

    Wellll I guess I won't be watching CNN tonight.....and maybe not any night

    October 29, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  5. Joe the Teacher

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

    What does this mean?

    October 29, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  6. Judy from PA

    What a surprise that MSNBC will air it! They only annointed Obama about 18 months ago.

    I heard the McCain campaign is going to buy 30 minutes and let Joe Biden speak! Haha.

    October 29, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  7. maggie

    Well, my friends and I certainly won't be watching CNN tonight! This decision, along with Campbell Brown's recent editorial about Obama's financing pledge, really stirs the pot. Welcome MSNBC!

    October 29, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  8. Voter

    All baseball fans... Watch the Phillies win and boycott Obama and his infobrainwashing...

    GO PHILLIES!!!!

    October 29, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  9. Adaka Borroow

    MCCAMBEL ARE YOU HAPPY NOW. WHILE YOU JOIN THE FAILED POLICIES OF MCCAIN INSTEAD OF WAISTING YOUR TIME AT CNN

    October 29, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  10. Peter Brzozowski

    It's your loss CNN. Oh well this election will be over soon and we all know who will be the next president...

    October 29, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  11. cedes

    I think its fair to say that the 30 min infomercial is a bit much.
    As a obama supporter, A 10 min or 15 min seems fine.
    but 30?!

    October 29, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  12. Fair!

    Good for you CNN, I knew I liked you!

    Keep it "Fair & Honest."

    October 29, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  13. Obamafied Cheesehead

    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.

    Nuff said.

    October 29, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  14. It Is News

    The last time I checked, CNN was a news channel. Aren't they suppose to report the news? A Presidential candidate running a 30 minute infomercial is news. When Obama gave his speach on Race, they aired that. I just think that since they see now that McSame is really losing, that they don't want to give Obama more air time.

    October 29, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  15. LM Florida

    I think it's fine. CNN works very hard to be balanced (which is way more than we can say about Fox News!!). It will be easy to watch for anyone who wants to see it.

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 29, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  16. NO Palin

    Its ok CNN..You have a better website..But MSNBC has better programing. Most of us have been watching them at night anyway.
    Your 8pm hour is a joke with Brown and her love fest for Palin.

    October 29, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  17. ron

    CNN seems to be turning more red every day. Now this decision to not run the Obama ad confirms my suspicion. I have relied heavily on CNN to bring me the best political news on TV. I no longer feel that. As long as Jack continues to be on air, I will occasionally watch CNN.

    October 29, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  18. howl

    Why no comments on Palin's energy speech? I guess al lthe staffersat CNN are still laughing themseleves silly, right?!! The rest of us will be having achuckle too, no doubt.

    October 29, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  19. Candy West Virginia

    I stopped watching cnn a long time ago when they showed clear bias against Obama however I do try and catch Jack, he comes on usually at five of the hour and i barely blog on here any more since they hardly ever leave the blogs open long enough.

    October 29, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  20. al sullivan

    While I often disagree with CNN's coverage in regards to Obama, this really is a good choice. Going into the last days of the campaign, we need to hear both sides as often as possible, not a barage of a single candidate's point of view.

    October 29, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  21. Dr Roy

    Let's see – "W" is a flop at the theatres, the World Series has low viewer ratings, CNN and ABC have said no to the Obama infomerical, recent revelations about the "socialist" stance, McCain's jump in the polls, the lack of positive headlines about Obama, inprovements in the financial markets – looks like the public is doing its usual take notice about the election when it is less than 2 weeks away and the public is making its choice.

    October 29, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  22. carlo

    CNN, no one cares if you don't air it. That's why we have other channels. You guys are pathetic. You can't present both candidates in the same light to appear "balanced" if one candidates' campaign sucks. I'll be watching MSNBC tonight, like I do every other night.

    Peace.

    October 29, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  23. Michael watching from Canada

    Pools show that 80% of those of us outside the US see Obama as the best choice.

    It still continues to amaze me that many voters actually believe McCain's lies, smears and outright mischaracterization of Obama.

    And how can McCain suggest that Obama is a socialist when McCain's tax policies also redistribute wealth!!

    And how can McCain suggest that Obama is a socialist when it was Bush who spearheaded distribution of rebate cheques this past Spring?

    And how can McCain suggest that Obama is a socialist when it was Bush's administration who initiated the bailout of AIG, the bailout of Lehman Brothers, the bailout of other banks and the $700B bailout for Wall Street??

    And how can Palin suggest that Obama is a socialist when she taxed the oil companies and gave over $3,000 dollars to each person in Alaska?

    October 29, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  24. abraham

    That is Ok. You loose. Nobody is going to watch your channel that half hour. Best political team(?) can continue chatting in the studios

    October 29, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  25. McCain!

    Hey Obama, try BET, they might give you an hour of air time!

    McCain!!!!!

    October 29, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
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