Raw Story’s Sahil Kapur is reporting that Fox News is refusing to air an ad advocating for repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. The 30-second spot, produced by the Palm Center, “includes testimony from military leaders of NATO allies arguing that lifting the ban on gay soldiers is a ‘non-event’ and does not diminish combat effectiveness.”
“I am surprised that Fox News would reject an ad featuring allied Generals, given that host Bill O’Reilly and guest contributor Liz Cheney have both expressed support for open gay service,” Palm Center Director Aaron Belkin said in a statement. “This is an important time for input from all sides on this issue, and I hope Fox will reconsider.” Watch the ad:
Fox might argue that the policy is controversial or too hot for television, but popular and political support for the policy has only increased over the last month. A CNN poll released last week found that 72 percent of Americans now want to end the policy, up from from 67 percent in September. Only 23 percent of Americans oppose repeal. Several moderate Republicans have also signaled that they would vote for repeal and Sen. Olympia Snow (R-ME) even called on Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to expedite the process.
The decision is particularly peculiar since the network refused a request by the America Issues Project to buy time on the network to broadcast an ad criticizing President Obama over his friendship with Bill Ayers during the 2008 presidential campaign and this summer, after multiple revisions, “agreed to run a Media Matters for America ad pointing out the cable network’s parent company’s $1 million donation to the Republican Governors Association.”
On the other hand, this isn’t the first time Fox News has refused to air a progressive ad. In July, the network rejected an ad by VoteVets, which encouraged a “clean energy climate plan” and before that turned down another spot advocating for ending America’s dependence on foreign oil because it deemed it “too confusing.” In December of 2007, the Fox also refused to air “an ad produced by the Center for Constitutional Rights that criticize[d] the Bush administration for ‘destroying the Constitution’ by the use of renditions, torture, and other tactics.”