ABC relies on the inanity defense to reject Gore’s-truth telling ad

Here’s an update on my recent heavily-Dugg post: “The truth-telling ad ABC won’t let you see — and what you can do about it.”

First, as of today, more than 200,000 people have sent ABC an email. So thank you to everybody who sent them an e-mail or Dugg this post and drew attention to it — and to the many other bloggers who wrote about this.

Second, ABC’s absurd actions have come to the attention of one of the media’s most prestigious watchdogs. What their headline “ABC Declines Renewable Power Ad” lacks in actual head-smackiness, their coverage makes up in credibility. ABC can easily ignore bloggers, but not CJR. ABC was also critiqued by the UK Guardian, with a better headline, “ABC deems Gore climate change advert too ‘controversial’ for TV.”

Third, ABC has offered an explanation for their hypocrisy action or, more precisely, two explanations. The Alliance for Climate Protection says that ABC objected to this fleeting image:

Big Oil Spends Hundreds of Millions to Block Clean Energy

Why? ABC said:

Per our Guidelines, national buildings may be used in advertising provided the depictions are incidental to the advertiser’s promotion of the product or service. Given the messages and themes of this commercial, the image of the Capital (sic) building is not incidental to this advertising. Please replace the image with one that is not of another national building or monument. Thank you.

The Wonkroom notes how ridiculous that claim is, given that ABC runs Chevron’s greenwashing ‘Human Energy‘ ads:

While running ads calling for conservation and depicting happy children and unspoiled nature, Chevron was simultaneously expanding its operations in the tar sands of Alberta, Canada and oil fields of the Niger Delta, and lobbying to lift the offshore drilling moratorium.

Maybe ABC realized the inanity of their original argument because “network spokeswoman Julie Hoover told the Guardian“:

All of our advertising is reviewed on a case-by-case basis, and the context of this particular ad was determined not to be acceptable per our policy on controversial issue advertising.

I suppose the “we’re arbitrary” defense is much better than the “we’re legally inane” defense.

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7 Responses to ABC relies on the inanity defense to reject Gore’s-truth telling ad

  1. john says:

    This whole “human ingenuity” slant that several large petro-chemical and oil companies are taking is ingenuous — in a Dr. No kind of way.

    It makes two powerful arguments at once: 1)We are them; and 2) resources are inexhaustible — because we are the ultimate resource.

    Of course, number 2 is only true if we are smart enough to quit doing things that destroy humanity — and these ads are designed to stop us from doing exactly that.

    Corporations have created a new brand of evil — mechanistic, blind and devoid of malicious intent — but evil still.

    ABC, in rejecting an ad that takes on this evil, is yet another example of it.

  2. TomG says:

    I find it odd that ABC would not provide CJR a copy of their advertising guidelines.
    Shouldn’t the guidelines be readily available?
    Is somebody high up in the ABC foodchain playing blocker?
    Until perhaps sometime in November?

  3. Lamont says:

    yeah, i’m very sick of that “the earth has electromagnetic fields, and we can use them to drill, drill, drill” ad that constantly runs on BBC America.

    tell me about leaving the carbon in the ground, don’t tell me about more clever ways to dig it up.

  4. llewelly says:

    It’s striking, that after over two decades, large swathes of the media continue play a fundamentally dishonest, and extremely dangerous role in fomenting delusion about the state of the climate, and what we can do about it.

  5. Rick says:

    Green politics won’t stop drilling. The only thing that will stop the drilling is when energy produced and energy expended stop making corporate sense.

    So ANWR will be drilled and offshore will too. And tar sands will be heavily developed over the next 20 years.

    It’s not negative thinking. Just reality.

  6. Independent says:

    Why won’t ABC have a debate by top climatologist and meteorologist on global warming and let the public decide. How do we know green politics isn’t just another money making scheme? Let’s have some real discussion!

  7. Rick says:

    debates are pretty worthless for establishing anything beyond who has the superior debating skills.