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. Karen

    It works for me- Plenty of other channels to watch – CNN is really getting boring with the exception of Jack, John, Larry and Anderson.Three hours of Wolf repeating the same news sucks. Campbell Brown does the same news as Wolf but with a more "McCain bias". Campbell why don't you join Fox – they're love you there

    October 29, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  2. Va4Obama

    "We prefer to use our air to continue to cover the campaign, candidates and issues"

    Isn't Obama a candidate, running a campaign and speaking about issues? CNN, you have got to be kidding me. Did Lou Dobbs get mad and complain? What about DL's show? Is that covering the campaigns with such tasteless, unfunny programming. I watched to give it a try, but I never laughed once.

    October 29, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  3. Shirley-Ohio

    This is why he opt out of public financing. This is one time that I am okay with someone breaking their promise. Palin and McCain today between the two of them had 1 hours of free broadcasting from CNN. Obama is a very smart and educated young man who study they way people ran their campagins in the past and he did what he had to do to be successful and that is what we are taught to do as kids, teenages and young adults.

    October 29, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  4. SKF

    I am disappointed in you, CNN, until now you have been my major news source. Why would you not broadcast this political address from Obama? How can you claim to be the "best Political Team on television" and at the same time refuse to broadcast a major message from the presidential candidate and frontrunner? You have been broadcasting every little Joe the Plumber rally in PA and FL. Someone over there is bowing to pressure. The word that comes to mind is "wimpy"!

    October 29, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  5. MBuvia Greenwood,IN

    Why is Campbell Brown writing this commentary now??? This is a McCain talking point from 2 months ago. All Obama did was answer a questionaire-there was no promise-just an intention. So now I know who Campbell Brown is voting for.

    October 29, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  6. js

    Obama has proven that he has no clue about the average person. He has raised obscene amounts of money spending it like crazy. This is an indication how he would handle the tax payers money if he was president. The sky would be the limit.
    His inexperience is being taken advantage of by the democrats. His presidency would obviously be run by the hidden powers of the democratic party. He is a token "CELEBRITY" to get the younger voter.

    October 29, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  7. D

    Obama is already acting presidential

    If I was an employer this guy would get the job for sure.

    October 29, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  8. Midwest

    Yes!!!! CNN looks to be the only unbiased, newsworthy network. I was wondering who I would be watching after this campaign. With a few exceptions, CNN seems to be one of the VERY few who doesn't "gush" over Obama. FOX of course, comes in second.

    Thank you CNN, you remind us of what journalism should be.

    October 29, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  9. Cammi317

    It will be extremely interesting to see the ratings block for tonight. I have a feeling that CNN and ABC are going to wish they were onboard. Even Fox News Channel's viewers, and their hosts, will probably be tuned in....LOL.

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

    your ratings will drop like mccain's and pallin's ratings...

    October 29, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  11. Sam the Butcher

    I see. You'll basically run in full the McSenile and Sarah the stupid socialist ( | ) lies here, giving them free pub; but will not: 1. allow an Obama/Biden add to be played on the website in turn nor 2. "pre-empt" your boring programming.

    Like others have said, I'll just be tuned in to MSNBC to catch it.
    Losing credibility fast....don't allow yourselves to become a Faux Noise Channel.

    October 29, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  12. Disappointed CNN fan

    As a huge CNN fan, I'm disappointed with this decision.

    On shows like AC360 you air "In their own words"..but now you chose not air the Obama commercial in his own words?

    But just yesterday you covered the Joe the Plumber news conference?

    This late in the game, lets get our priorities straight..

    October 29, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  13. SH

    Love the hypocrisy of the Obama supporters who screamed that the Republicans were stealing and buying elections. LOL

    October 29, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  14. Demo 08

    I have stopped watching Fox News (all lies, hate, racist)
    Now I guess CNN is on the list as well. Mr. O'Rieley, yes I used to watch your shows but not anymore, I prefer Keith Olberman – he reports the truth!

    I AM A FAN OF MSNBC!

    October 29, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  15. charles

    so why are you telling us. do you think it makes you better. not at all.makes you worse instead.life still goes on without cnn thus why you have so many channels. plenty of channels to watch it from.

    October 29, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  16. Marilyn, Powell, OH

    MSNBC is leading CNN in viewers.

    October 29, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  17. GA Indepen 4 Obama

    Obama will seal the deal with this direct address to the American people. Everyone that hasn't heard his message and his plan for the future will get to hear it tonight.

    This will hopefully be the nail in the coffin for McCain, but all the Obama supporters need to get out there and vote NOW or on election day if your state isn't doing early voting.

    I voted today and will be volunteering to give people rides to the polls on election day.

    Obama/Biden '08 – Only you can make it happen!

    October 29, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  18. US Voter

    The Infobrainwashing will say the same thing over and over. I'm sick of hearing "Do you want another 8 years?"

    October 29, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  19. Steve Hamilton

    I've been looking forward to the Obama special for weeks now. I'll watch it on whatever network airs it.
    The GOP/McCain whining is tiresome and petty. If they are unhappy with fundraising they should have done a better job at it. Obama talks about the important issues our country faces and McCain talks/whines about Obama. It's easy to see who will be the best leader of the free world.

    October 29, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  20. Lue Blacknell

    I knew that CNN is biased against Obama it is very obvious-Campbell Brown is the ringleader and the rest of them go along with it. It has always been obvious to me that they are not objective in their reporting-I'll take MSNBC anyday over CNN-

    October 29, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  21. No!

    What's the spot titled?

    "The Biggest Loser," oh, I'm sorry, that's a legitimate television show about weight loss on another network.

    October 29, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  22. An independent

    I am not sure what Grampy McSame means when he says" No one will delay the World Series game with an infomercial when I'm president," Is he going to regulate private bussiness now. Sounds like Socalism or even Marxism to me. He should just do us all a favor and just go away.

    October 29, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  23. Aliou

    Cnn block out on that date then? You know cnn=fox. we just wanted to give you the benefit of the doubt. See what campbel wrote in her comments? I would think she will be more even handed in writing. she just bought the stuff palin sells: Hot air lies.

    October 29, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  24. John in Virgina

    I think this article is cover for something else that is going on within CNN that lead to the decision not to air the speech. First and foremost, the network is turning down money, it otherwise is not likely to get. Secondly, the article says they "prefer to use our air to continue to cover the campaign, candidates and issues like we always do from all points of view." OK, well I can guarantee you that this "best political team on television," is going to sit and debate this very ad that they refuse to air. It doesn't make any sense. Perhaps CNN is being sympathetic to the McCain campaign and their inability to buy similar airtime? Afterall the "liberal media" isn't so liberal when their owners' friend is under threat of a loss. John McCain is coming off like a big kid with that baseball comment. "My sandcastle is gonna be bigger and better than yours!!"

    October 29, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  25. son of LIBERTY

    Ill watch it on NBC and watch your coverage after. PALIN IS NOT Qualified to lead the Senate(haha)

    October 29, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
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