Real Voices get shut out by news networks

Published September 30, 2004 6:22PM (EDT)

So far in this campaign, the surest way for political advocacy groups to grab some TV exposure is to create commercials (the more emotional the better), buy airtime in a handful of swing states and then hold a press conference to announce the spots. The first Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ad that argued Sen. John Kerry lied about his war medals won free airtime for weeks on cable television. More recently, an anti-Kerry ad mixing a grainy picture of Kerry in among notorious Islamic terrorists was dutifully noted by most major news organizations.

The latest ad buy entry came yesterday when families of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq held a press conference in Washington, D.C., to announce two new emotional anti-Bush ads that are set to run in the crucial swing states of Florida, New Mexico and Nevada. Calling themselves, the mothers of slain soldiers appear in the two ads, often in tears as they describe their loss and their anger over the war in Iraq.

Sounds like some pretty gripping stuff, right? Apparently not to TV news outlets. So far they've been overwhelmingly MIA on the story. Here's an up-to-the-minute tally of the mentions that has received:

CNN: 0
CNN Headline News: 0
Fox News: 0
ABC: 0
CBS: 0
NBC: 0

By Eric Boehlert

Eric Boehlert, a former senior writer for Salon, is the author of "Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush."

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