10 p.m. Tuesday update: Sounds like an AAN spokesman fibbed to the Star Tribune’s Jeremy Herb about the pulled ads.
Sure, political ads skirt (if not de-pants) the truth, but TV stations don’t yank them off the air very often. Yet that’s what Connecticut and Colorado stations have done to spots produced by Norm Coleman’s American Action Network.
CQ reports that Hartford’s Fox affiliate nixed an AAN ad alleging the federal health care bill would jail those without insurance. “Their supporting material didn’t support the claims, and, in fact, contradicted them,” a Fox spokesman told the website.
A Democratic congressman in Colorado says Denver’s NBC affiliate pulled an AAN ad claiming the health care bill would provide “Viagra for rapists.”
The Coleman group’s donors are anonymous, and CQ says the same ads still run on other stations nationwide.
However, the booted commercials show one pitfall of the independent-expenditure route. By federal law, candidate ads cannot be censored, though at least one Supreme Court decision forced a spot to be moved to a less family-friendly time. Independent expenditure ads have no such protection.