CBS may reject anti-Bush commercial

CBS may reject anti-Bush commercial
According to Advertising Age, the winner of’s home-made commercial contest may not be shown during the Super Bowl, which was the intent of the contest. The report says the spot is unlikely to pass CBS’s standards and practices.

Dan Gillmor asks, “If ever a reporter failed to ask an obvious question in an interview, it’s this one: Why isn’t it likely that this ad will pass CBS’ scrutiny? Could it be that the network is gun-shy from conservative attacks, or just moving rightward in general?”

Dave Weinberger asks, “Is our country stronger because a TV network refuses to air an ad because it criticizes our president?”

Jeff Jarvis asks, “Jeesh. Wanna make yourselves Exhibit 1 in the case for (conservative) media bias? And whom are you protecting, CBS? Us? We don’t need it, thanks.”

It goes on. My view is somewhat different. The contest is a lesson in Postmodern media. The company asked for entries. It got 1,000. The buzz in liberal circles was quite exhilarating, that everyday people could compete to make an anti-Bush video commercial. The problem comes in when the oil of Postmodernism tries to meet the water of Modernism. Did anybody really expect a venerable Modernist institution like CBS to play by anything other than its top-down rules? I think not.

The campaign is already a success. It doesn’t need the next step. If this thing called the Internet is truly the new “where it’s at” — and I believe it is — then why do we care about the standards and practices of CBS? The truth is that in a Post-mass market, Postmodern world, we don’t.


  1. It’s time for Modernists to evolve or make like a dinosaur.

    I’m going to suggest that we PoMo’s do it the PoMo way. We boycott the game, have an alternative event like a MoveOn Meetup concurrent with the game. We don’t need no stinking over-commercialized semblance of a game. We can take our high-tech toys and play elsewhere. Without our PoMo money and eyeballs, what do they have?

    (I came here via Dave’s post; thanks for sharing this, I might have missed it!)

  2. Good thoughts, all. Hope to see you again, Rayne.

  3. Well, the shoe dropped. What do we do now?

    Waiting to hear back from MoveOn in regards to the email I sent them when this news first broke; I asked them to consider a boycott and setting up an alternative event if the ad wasn’t approved.

    Let’s see what happens!

  4. This does prove that big media, big money, and big corporations are in control. Now, free speech is under attack. Doesn’t meet CBS standards! BS! I’ll be watching the Simpsons.

  5. Sorry to kill yer buzz, but get real — the reason MoveOn wants on CBS is that it reaches a coveted audience: families who care about budget deficits. Perhaps I fell asleep and missed something, but the internet is not a place that many moderate Nascar dads go to to read up on the latest political gossip. Hold your meetup and boycott, and watch as Ed Gillespie laughs all the way to the election.

  6. If the objective is to get regular folks to watch a 30-second anti-Bush ad, then I would agree with you. That has to be a secondary objective, however, so I think MoveOn has already won. The publicity they’ve gotten for the real issue — that Bush has questionable spending habits (to be kind) — is far beyond whatever they’d have gotten with 30 seconds in the Superbowl, when a great number of people are going to the bathroom anyway.

  7. True, Terry. The buzz has been big and cheap — costing nada.

    Unfortunately, it’s had to compete with press about new moon/Mars missions. We all know how much that press will cost all of us.

    What matters now is that the internet users break through the veil of the virtual world and bust into television and print, where the dinosaurs who vote still live. I’m calling for a letter writing campaign; I’m sure MoveOn will be moving to television soon.

    I’m not too worried about the NASCAR dads, Veradero. I’m worried about dads like Cheney and Bush; worried about the dads I know that earn 6‑figures who are on the fence. Keeping the eyes on the prize, ya’ know?

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