CREW Urges MSNBC to Pull Misleading and Delusional Health Care Ad

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Matt Jacob
Phone: 202.408.5565

CREW Urges MSNBC to Pull Misleading and Delusional Health Care Ad

WASHINGTON - Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)
sent a letter to MSNBC President Phil Griffin asking that MSNBC stop
airing an ad sponsored by the U.S. Citizens Association. The ad, which
ran at least once on August 27, 2009, during Morning Joe, violates Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations and NBC's advertising policy.

According to its website, the U.S. Citizens Association is a
non-profit organization dedicated to, among other things, informing
"the public on the fallacies of the information being spread by the
liberal socialist organizations and the facts on capitalism versus
socialism." The ad, which can be viewed on the organization's website (http://www.uscitizensassociation.com/USCA_tv.html) opposes healthcare reform and includes the following statements:

  • Government can tax and print money, which will eliminate private healthcare and impose socialized medicine.
  • You will wait months and years for treatment. Many people will not get treated at all.
  • You will pay for free healthcare for over 20 million illegal aliens.
  • In its letter, CREW noted that some of the ad's claims are
    ludicrous, for example, the U.S. has been taxing citizens and printing
    money for over 200 years, without any obvious impact on private
    healthcare. Other claims, such as that healthcare will be rationed and
    20 million illegal aliens will receive free healthcare, have been
    debunked.

    The FCC expects broadcasters not to air false or misleading ads and
    NBC requires a "reasonable basis for the claims" made by an advertiser
    and that claims "fall within the bounds of reasonable debate." By
    airing U.S. Citizens Association's ludicrous advertisement, MSNBC
    appears to have violated both FCC and NBC policy.

    CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan stated, "The ad goes beyond
    misleading and well into delusional. There is no reasonable explanation
    for airing an ad that irrationally argues because the government can
    tax and print money, private healthcare will be eliminated. MSNBC
    should be embarrassed this one got through and pull it immediately."

    Read CREW's letter to MSNBC in the Related Documents section on the right.

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    Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting ethics and accountability in government and public life by targeting government officials -- regardless of party affiliation -- who sacrifice the common good to special interests. CREW advances its mission using a combination of research, litigation and media outreach.

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