From Ben Smith at Politico, we learn that NBC and CBS have refused to air a provocative ad by the National Republican Trust PAC that calls on Americans to oppose the building of a mosque two blocks from the World Trade Center site. Here is the ad:
NBC objected this language:
On Sept. 11, they declared war against us. And to celebrate that murder of 3,000 Americans, they want to build a monstrous 13-story mosque at ground zero.
An ad questioning the wisdom of building a mosque at ground zero would meet our issues of public controversy advertising criteria. However, this ad which ambiguously defines ‘they’ as referenced in the spot makes it unclear as to whether the reference is to terrorists or to the Islamic religious organization that is sponsoring the building of the mosque. Consequently, the ad is not acceptable under our guidelines for broadcast.
As much as I oppose the building of a mosque on or near ground zero, I think NBC’s position has merit. The ad implies that the terrorists who declared war against us on 9/11 are the people who want to build the mosque on ground zero and that the people who want to build the mosque are motivated by a desire to celebrate mass murder. These are dubious propositions for which, to my knowledge, good evidence is lacking (I’m willing to be corrected on this point, however). Under these circumstances, I can understand why NBC and CBS would rather not run an ad that seems to make these claims.
Whether NBC and ABC are this fastidious about the facts when the American left presents them with ads is another question, and one that should be explored.