Saturday, December 20, 2003

On the Web, an Amateur Audience Creates Anti-Bush Ads

New York Times

"The content of the MoveOn ads is circumscribed by the campaign finance reforms of the McCain-Feingold Law, upheld earlier this month by the Supreme Court. While prohibiting soft-money donations to political parties, the law allows donations to flow to independent groups like MoveOn as long they run only informational ads and do not specifically endorse a candidate.

Thus MoveOn's call for submissions was careful to solicit ads that would help voters 'understand the truth about George Bush.' No ads supporting the president's policies were sent in, contest organizers noted. They also disqualified about 100 submissions, including some for reasons of taste. A spot showing a frog dropped into boiling water, a metaphor for 'how the administration is turning up the heat in this country,' according to its director, was deemed unsuitable for television."

This is a "wink-wink" way around the BCRA, because nobody's willing to actually follow a law that says they can't criticize the President. The fact that BCRA even touches this kind of speech is frightening.

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