Partisan is as partisan does

Published February 26, 2004 9:49PM (EST)

One month after CBS refused to run the ad that won's Bush in 30 Seconds contest, the advocacy group wants the Justice Department to investigate why CBS has agreed to air an ad that promotes a White House-backed Medicare prescription drug law. While not blatantly partisan, the ad blurs the line between public service announcement and Republican campaign plug so much that CBS initially refused to run the spot.

MoveOn officials fume that CBS has since bowed to White House pressure and violated the network's own stated policies by agreeing to air the commercial. If CBS is indeed out of line, why is MoveOn going to the Justice Department and not the FCC? Eli Pariser, campaign director for MoveOn Voters Fund, tells Salon: "The critical distinction is that we believe this to be more than a regulatory matter. This may be a violation of federal law."

CBS officials did not return calls seeking comment.

By Laura McClure

Laura McClure is assistant news editor at Salon.

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