MoveOn.org, the politically left-leaning Internet-based advocacy group whose Super Bowl commercial criticizing the nation's deficit was rejected by CBS, is separately attacking President Bush in ads running in four states.
The rejected ad had been selected the winner by a panel of judges in a competition staged by MoveOn.org. The ad, by Charlie Fisher of Denver, is called "Child's Pay,'' and shows children washing dishes in a restaurant, cleaning an office building, hauling trash and standing on an assembly line - with the tagline, "Guess who's going to pay off President Bush's $1 trillion deficit?''
CBS rejected it, as well as another ad proposed for the Super Bowl by People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals, because of its policy to not air issue-advocacy advertising.
However, CNN aired the "Child's Play" ad Jan. 20, the day of Bush's State of the Union speech. It ran 13 times that day at a cost of $60,000, said Eli Pariser, campaign director of Move- On.org.
He said the group is assessing its options for buying advertising time for "Child's Pay'' on television stations in the future, perhaps even on alternate stations this Sunday during the showing of the Super Bowl, the most- watched TV event of the year, on CBS.
Meantime, MoveOn.org is attacking Bush's Medicare policy in ads appearing in Florida, Ohio, West Virginia and Nevada. It's a significant advertising buy, of some $1.7 million, said Pariser.
In all, the group has raised some $14 million to buy ads attacking Bush in advertising that will appear in swing states during the presidential race.
Pariser said 150,000 donors had made small contributions over eight weeks. Among them have been some major contributors, including financier George Soros and his business partner, Peter Lewis, who each gave $1.45 million as a match for Move- On.org members. Another major donor is movie producer Steve Bing, who reportedly gave just less than $1 million.
On its Web site and in e-mails, MoveOn.org asked its members to pressure CBS and its affiliates to change network policy to accept advocacy ads. The group said that 320,000 members called or e-mailed the network, while others contacted affiliates.
©2004 San Francisco Chronicle