Accuracy in Media has issued a press release disclosing a major conflict of interest for CNN in running the false NARAL ad:
The ad, accusing Roberts of endorsing anti-abortion terrorism, is from the group known as NARAL Pro-Choice America, a pro-abortion group. Public information shows that the NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation received more than $1.4 million in 2003 from Ted Turner’s private foundation.This wouldn’t be the first time Turner’s fingerprints were found all over a CNN decision to run or not run a political ad. Tim Graham recently e-mailed to point out another instance:
In the fall of ‘97, CNN refused to run ads that underlined how some major polluting nations would not be expected to be held to Kyoto emissions-reduction goals. Ted Turner nixed it.Full story here. It almost makes you feel sorry for Wolf Blitzer. Yesterday on The Situation Room when Ken Mehlman criticized CNN for running the ad, Blitzer looked uncomfortable and changed the subject fast:
Mehlman: The fact is, what we’ve seen, though, is outrage on the other side. A new NARAL ad has come out, an ad which is knowingly false and misleading. We have sent this station a letter on behalf of our general council asking you not to run it. If you’ve got an ad that you know is misleading, seems to me that’s an ad you shouldn’t run…Yesterday I said I thought there was still time for CNN to prevent lasting damage to its reputation by backing off from this thing. Now that Turner’s involvement is becoming clear, I don’t think CNN will back off.
Blitzer: CNN’s attitude is you bend over to allow all political parties, all political advocacy groups to show the kinds of ads, barring something that’s totally, totally outrageous. Let me briefly read to you what Newt Gingrich said in the aftermath of that very close Ohio congressional race in Cincinnati…
UPDATE: Wendy Long at Bench Memos has more:
A few months ago, Judicial Confirmation Network (a “responsible group”) produced an ad on the Democratic filibuster of judicial nominees. CNN’s in-house lawyers questioned and nitpicked the text of JCN’s ad (which was perfectly accurate to begin with, and which ultimately ran as produced on CNN and other cable networks and local broadcast stations). Something tells me that NARAL likely did not face the same critical review.