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. Aliou

    Lol cnn, you are always trying to twart what this guy wants to do to accommodate the gop. we call that intimidation. the gop intimidated cnn. who will believe it in other countries?

    Even the almighty cnn can be intimidated?lololooolllllooo

    October 29, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  2. Jason MN

    Where's all the fallacious claims of CNN's left bias? I think it's been clear that the once lean-left CNN has been moving centrist/lean-right for a couple years now.

    October 29, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  3. I see Russia from my HOUSE

    Robert Draper, however, offers a defense of Wallace, saying she's kept quiet about things that a couple of McCain higher-ups have leaked to him, and that Wallace was in a very unenviable position:

    I'm sympathetic to Eskew and Wallace, and not just because they're decent people. They've held their tongue from leaking what a couple of McCain higher-ups have told me–namely, that Palin simply knew nothing about national and international issues. Which meant, as one such adviser said to me: "Letting Sarah be Sarah may not be such a good thing." It's a grim binary choice, but apparently it came down to whether to make Palin look like a scripted robot or an unscripted ignoramus. I was told that Palin chafed at being defined by her discomfiting performances in the Couric, Charlie Gibson, and Sean Hannity interviews. She wanted to get back out there and do more. Well, if you're Eskew and Wallace, what do you say to that? Your responsibility isn't the care and feeding of Sarah Palin's ego; it's the furtherance of John McCain's quest for the presidency.

    Enough said, didn't expect much from CNN.. It's ok I watch MSNBC anyways 🙂

    October 29, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  4. Lu

    If I am correct, this infomercial will aire during Larry King, and John McCain is the guest tonight. I guess CNN wants to aire all the shots of McCain's face as he rolls his eyes and makes those maniacal expressions like he did during the last campaign.

    I would much rather see Obama's speech, so, sorry CNN, you will lose in ratings tonight.

    October 29, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  5. J P from MD

    I dont think this is a problem. I think that CNN will do what it has too. Many people will watch Obama, and others will have a choice. The main thing is that FOX news does not win viewership from this election. I dont think I could stand it.

    October 29, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  6. lynda wojcik

    Why doesn't Obama just give everyone $$ to vote for him...because that is what this race is really coming down to...or I guess what every political race is about....I have never felt such dispair over the nominees for president as I do this year....

    October 29, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  7. Liberated!

    CNN....you snooze, you lose....no wonder your ratings are slipping, plus you have a weak Campbell Brown up against a very strong Olbermann, followed by a just as strong Maddow....and if you like who's on Larry King you can see Rachel again against your Hurricane Chaser Anderson Cooper at 11:00! It's not Obama's fault the Republican party don't have faith in the McCain/Palin ticket to give them money so they may run ads....maybe they shouldn't have used the money on makeup and clothes and flying Palin's family all across the country!

    October 29, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |

    C'mon CNN, why are you suddenly dropping the ball? You have been a reliable source for democrats all year. Now you're getting cold feet?

    October 29, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  9. Jamie TX

    Come on CNN! You'll show Palin in all her ridiculousness at rallies, but not a scripted ad? MSNBC here I come.

    October 29, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  10. Obambi

    What? CNN being fair? I cannot wait for the fury of Obamabot paid bloggers that CNN will not carry this scripted speech. CNN must be belatedly worried that they will have no takers when the paid bloggers go back to college! Many republicans and independents will be watching FOX news only after the election to get fair and balanced reports. I do not expect this to be posted , as usual.

    October 29, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  11. Tom

    More time for Campbell Brown to obsess about nonissues on McCain's behalf!

    October 29, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  12. The Great One

    Whatever CNN noone cares that you wont air the program, you're just doing it because you want to be seen as the best, but you're far from the best news, on cable you are i'll concede that, but not as good as the major broadcast networks.

    October 29, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  13. Renee

    I found CNN and MSNBC to both be pretty fair until last night when Campbell Brown seemed to have a problem with Obama going back on his word. Funny, I flip channels daily and watch her show faithfully and never once heard her make note of it in such a way until last night. (GO FIGURE) It's not being aired on the network. I think that's fine and they should be fair. I will certainly catch it on MSNBC. Then, I will flip channels to hear each networks view of the commerical because although it's not on CNN they WILL BE WATCHING!!! Then I will look for a fair anaylisis which I usually get from CNN.

    October 29, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  14. R in Maine

    CNN "news" (and others) are like a rain delay at a baseball game, or a football game between two losers. They try to pretend it is interesting, but they are doing their best to say it is close when there is no indication that the score is anything but a blowout.

    October 29, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  15. Jeff

    No problem...I will catch it on NBC or the FOX.

    October 29, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  16. marie

    Should have know CNN was not going to let Obama speak on CNN. Most of them are trying to work it out so Mcclain can wind. They always talking about him winning different states, but they don't show how many states Obama has to win.

    October 29, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  17. PIPKIN

    this is why i get most of my info from msnbc...but i will watch cnn later....

    October 29, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  18. Chuck

    I'm sure if CNN could have rearranged their time slots, Obama would be on CNN tonight also. Money talks and CNN isn't stupid, just trying to be neutral. I won't be watching CNN at 8:p.m. tonight.

    October 29, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  19. Bama4Obama

    That makes sense-the news media is supposed to be unbiased, and since so many McShame supporters have been accusing CNN of bias toward Obama they are just keeping themselves in the clear.

    I have been wondering why there are no Obama signs around in my part of AL, and I have discovered why...someone came around last night and stole my Obama/Biden sign out of my yard! McCain supporters, that is just pathetic, and will not stop my household from voting for Obama!

    October 29, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  20. Tom in Delaware

    He really doesn't need it...he should just donate 3 Million to CNN for all the free campaign support to date.

    Rasmussen: Obama 50% McCain 47%

    And that's just the beggining of the slide.

    October 29, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  21. J J

    I find it hard to criticize CNN with this issue. It is shown on enough networks. I think while the ratings will be somewhat high, there will be plenty of people not wanting to watch it. Myself, I am tired of the campaign and will be watching repeats of Law and Order.

    October 29, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  22. Nancy

    It's OK CNN, I will still watch you guys! Besides, I know you need to cover all the goodies!

    October 29, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  23. Bill

    Obama running this adfomercial and all his commercials show he is not good a handling a dollar. If he is so ahead in the polls, why doesn't he save some of this money by maybe only running 2 commercials to every one of Mccains? If he gets in the White House will he go through our (taxpayers) money as quickly. Also, he has lacked transparency on where he is getting much of his donors dollars. He is basically financing this half hour with suspect donor money and by breaking his pledge for campaign financing. Will he while in the White House also break pledges and take tainted money like the financial help he received from Khalidi and Rezko. Stay tuned.

    October 29, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  24. Not Bliztered

    I'll be watching Obama's piece on another network, Censorship from CNN and ABC? You be the judge.

    October 29, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  25. Joe the Voter

    John – you don't have to concern yourself about what you will or will not do. You won't be president. You and your running mate are not qualified nor do you have the morals and values to be in charge of this great nation of ours.

    Joe the voter

    October 29, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
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