Our Blue America television ads against Chris Carney and his support for retroactive telecom immunity, financed by reader donations to the tune of $80,000, are being rejected because they are critical of Comcast. Not all stations in the area rejected the ads, just those run by…wait for it…Comcast:
Comcast — from the moment the ad was submitted — was blatantly reluctant to broadcast the ad, insisting that numerous, extremely cumbersome "conditions" be met before they would consider accepting the ad. But even once those conditions were repeatedly met — in the form of ample "substantiation" documenting the claims made in the ad — Comcast continued to concoct additional barriers. When it was conveyed last week to Comcast’s representative that it was becoming increasingly clear that they were refusing to broadcast the ad because it was critical of the role it played in the Bush administration’s illegal spying program, and because the ad targeted a Congressman to whom Comcast representatives have contributed generously (and who is working hard to secure amnesty for Comcast), Comcast advised Blue America that it was retaining outside legal counsel to advise it on whether it should accept the ad. Quite predictably, Comcast’s legal counsel, David Silverman of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP in Washington DC, wrote an email late last week (here) claiming — laughably — that Comcast has decided to reject the ad because it "would face potential liability for any defamation contained in the spot."
Let me get this straight. Who exactly was going to sue Comcast for defamation…Comcast?
As Glenn points out, the allegations made in the ad have also been made by Chris Dodd, Russ Feingold and the New York Times. How come Comcast didn’t sue them?
This is the danger of having so very many media outlets controlled by so few owners. Remember, Comcast fired anchor Barry Nolan for criticizing Bill O’Reilly.
If that’s not okay with you…and it shouldn’t be…please drop a note to your media outlet of choice and let them know.