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THE REPUBLICAN CONVENTION

CNN Won't Air Gay GOP TV Ad

The network's decision to block the 30-second spot because of an 'inappropriate' image is criticized by the Log Cabin Republicans.

September 02, 2004|Nick Anderson | Times Staff Writer

NEW YORK — CNN is refusing to air nationally a commercial launched this week by a gay GOP organization to protest the Republican platform.

The network said that an image of an antigay protester in the advertisement was "inappropriate." The Log Cabin Republicans criticized the decision to block the ad, which began running Monday on New York cable channels and nationwide on Fox News Channel.

Log Cabin produced the 30-second spot in response to a platform that supports a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and attacks civil unions and other laws that benefit gay and lesbian couples. The platform was ratified Monday.

The ad begins with footage of former President Reagan speaking to the 1992 Republican convention, urging the party to make his legacy one of hope instead of fear.

It then shows photographs of social conservatives -- commentator Patrick J. Buchanan, the Rev. Jerry Falwell and Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) -- as a narrator warns against the rise of intolerance.

Next comes the protester carrying a sign that declares, "God Hates Fags" -- a photograph taken at the funeral of a gay murder victim from Wyoming named Matthew Shepard.

"Our choice is clear," the narrator concludes, as text on the screen reads, "Hope not Fear."

CNN spokesman Matthew Furman said the image, although it had been appropriate news footage, was inappropriate in an ad.

"We are deeply disappointed that CNN has refused our voices the opportunity to be heard," said Log Cabin Executive Director Patrick Guerriero. It is not unprecedented for a network, or even a local broadcast station, to reject a political ad. Earlier this year, CBS refused a request by MoveOn.org to purchase time during the Super Bowl for an ad critical of President Bush.

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