Another point on the UCC/CBS ad issue.
What is striking about CBS’s refusal (text quoted here) to air the ad is that they seem to go out of their way to use the weakest and most troubling rationale.
The CBS memo to the UCC includes three basic points.
1. The alleged policy of not running ads which address issue of public debate or controversy.
2. An alleged rule against ads from religious organizations which can be said in any way to proselytize.
3. And the fact that President Bush has recently called for a constitutional ban on gay marriage.
Reason #2 seems like the best argument (though it’s pretty weak in itself). But the CBS memo specifically says that this isn’t the reason they’re rejecting it. Reason one, they say, was an entirely sufficient reason for rejecting the ad.
But having enunciated this bar against ads which discuss or take a position on any “current controversial issue of public importance” they then gratuitously add this line about President Bush’s call for a constitutional ban on gay marriage.
Here’s the text (emphasis added) …
“Because this commercial touches on the exclusion of gay couples and other minority groups by other individuals and organizations, and the fact that the Executive Branch has recently proposed a Constitutional Amendment to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, this spot is unacceptable for broadcast on the [CBS and UPN] Networks.”
I would think that the general rule, if evenly enforced, would be sufficient. I cannot think of any good reason why President Bush’s (who’s now apparently been renamed ‘Executive Branch’) stated position should have any bearing at all on whether the ad should run.