TV Stations Pulls Political Ad

MULTIPLE CITIES: At least two TV stations have pulled a political attack ad inferring new health-care rules mean jail time for anyone without coverage. The Hartford Courant said the local Fox affiliate, WTIC-TV, pulled the ad, which targeted Rep. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.).

“Following a review of the spot titled ‘Mess’ and the documentation provided by the American Action Network, WTIC-TV... believes the commercial’s claims are unsubstantiated and has removed it from the air,” a station spokeswoman told the news outlet.

TV stations are not liable for ads taken out by candidates, which broadcasters are required to carry. Stations are, however, liable for non-candidate ads, such as the one in question. (See “Political Ads Fuel Financials and Feuds.”) The Courant said the ad asserted Murphy supported free health care for illegal immigrants and throwing uninsured Americans in jail. Another ad from the same group alleging that Murphy supports supplying Viagra to sex offenders continues to run. The American Action Network is reported to have spent $1 million on ads in its campaign against Murphy.

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) is also a target of the group’s Viagra ad, according to his Web site. Perlmutter’s site saidDenver’s NBC affiliate, KUSA-TV pulled the ad.

“KUSA-9News called the new attack ad by the American Action Network against Ed Perlmutter FALSE,” it said. “The ad lies about Perlmutter voting to support a provision in the new health insurance law that would let convicted rapists access Viagra. This is completely false. There is no provision in the new health insurance reform law to allow this, and Perlmutter never voted for such a provision. The Perlmutter campaign is asking all the TV stations and the Denver Post to pull this false advertising.”
-- Deborah D. McAdams