NBC stations in five election "battleground" states have refused to air a two-minute commercial from a conservative political action committee (PAC) attacking parent conglomerate Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) for alleged liberal bias.
The commercial, backed by the PAC Conservative War Chest, accuses Comcast of perpetrating "liberal bias" across its news divisions--and beyond just the usual suspect, left-wing-centric MSNBC.
The ad encourages viewers to vent their concerns over this alleged political slant to their local NBC affiliate. Not surprisingly, Conservative War Chest also takes aim at Comcast's proposed merger with Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) during a sensitive period during which the deal is being reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission.
It all begs the question: Was the production of a TV ad, filled with rather outlandish claims about a vast liberal conspiracy existing across a huge publicly traded media company, all part of the PAC's master plan to help progressive rivals defeat Comcast-TWC? Did Conservative War Chest ever actually believe the ad would run on NBC stations?
According to Bloomberg, the PAC is now going to defer the matter to the FCC.
"NBC's refusal to air our ads validates the exact concerns that sparked our warnings about the Comcast merger," said CWC's Michael Flynn to the news service. "If the government approves the Comcast merger, the company will control 80 percent of local political advertising. Censoring our ad should frighten all sides of the political spectrum. Who knows who a government-sanctioned Comcast would try to censor tomorrow?"
Conservative War Chest targeted its ad for Florida, Ohio, Nevada, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
- read this Bloomberg story
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