President Trump was hoping to celebrate his first 100 days in office with a massive TV ad campaign, but his achievements were silenced by CNN, ABC, CBS, and NBC. The major broadcasters chose not the air the ad because of a brief moment in the commercial that called out their stars as being purveyors of fake news. Included in the ad is a graphic of Andrea Mitchell (NBC), Scott Pelley (CBS), George Stephanopoulos (ABC), Wolf Blitzer (CNN), and Rachel Maddow (MSNBC). Emblazoned across their faces are the words “FAKE NEWS” in bold type.
“We rejected the ad because it did not meet our guidelines,” a spokesman for ABC told the UK’s Independent newspaper. “We have previously accepted Trump ads and are open to doing so in the future.”
We’d be interested in seeing where, exactly, in ABC’s guidelines it says they won’t accept advertisements that criticize George Stephanopoulos, but we guess anything’s possible.
CNN was more direct in their statement, in which they said that there was nothing about the mainstream media that could be called “fake news,” which in effect made Trump’s commercial “false” advertising.
The president’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, wrote a post on Friday bashing the networks for censoring the ad.
“All of the mainstream media television networks have decided to block the paid placement of a campaign ad that celebrates the achievements of President Trump in his first 100 days in office,” Lara wrote. “Apparently, the mainstream media are champions of the First Amendment only when it serves their own political views. Faced with an ad that doesn’t fit their biased narrative, CNN, ABC, CBS, and NBC have now all chosen to block our ad. This is an unprecedented act of censorship in America that should concern every freedom-loving citizen.”
That might be laying it on a little thick; these networks are for-profit institutions that have the right to accept or reject ads at their discretion. It doesn’t really have much, if anything, to do with free speech.
That said, it’s only BECAUSE these networks refuse to tell the truth about this administration that this ad was necessary. If the mainstream media wasn’t fully deserving of the “fake news” sticker, their viewers would already be well aware of how much President Trump has accomplished in his first 100 days. The real shame of this story isn’t that the networks blocked the ad, it’s that they couldn’t simply report the facts to begin with.