NYC: Fox 5 Rejects Democrat's TV Spot
by Scott Shields, Wed Sep 07, 2005 at 12:32:27 PM EDT
That's what makes this story so shocking. Openly gay Democratic candidate for Manhattan Borough President Brian Ellner made news last week by announcing that he would be featuring his partner in a television ad, just as many politicians prominently feature their spouses. The Fox affiliate in the city, WNYW Fox 5, has refused to run the ad.
Interestingly, his campaign isn't claiming that Fox's problem with the ad is that it features Ellner and his partner. Rather, their charge is that Fox rejected the ad for being critical of President Bush.But Fox 5 pulled out of the deal after it saw the 30-second ad, which features Bush's head superimposed onto a bare torso as the voiceover intones, "He claims he's a uniter, but New Yorkers know the emperor has no clothes."
. . .
Ellner said Fox told the campaign media adviser and the ad buyer that the spot was refused because it was "disrespectful to the office of the president."
WNYW Fox 5 spokeswoman Brandii Toby said, "We're not running the ad." But she said the station had no comment on why the decision was made or who was responsible for it.
Ellner's campaign is considering taking the matter to the FCC, which seems to me the absolute right course of action. While I have my questions as to why Ellner is campaigning against Bush in the Borough President primary, he's certainly well within his rights to do so. And Fox 5 has some serious questions to answer. There are really only one of two reasons they would refuse to air this ad -- homophobia or partisan conservatism. And neither is a big sell in the NYC market.