The Super Bowl is a spectacular media event. Aside from the thrill of the game, there is the plethora of commercials made specifically for those half-minute intervals between game coverage. Sponsors spend millions for the spots alone, so the commercials are usually worth the time.
But one commercial did not make the cut. Not because it was poorly made or couldn’t front the funds, but because CBS deemed it too controversial for its anti-advocacy ad policy. The ad was created through a competition hosted by MoveOn.org, a liberal activist organization, with the purpose of showing “the truth” about the Bush administration. While several of the submitted ads were admittedly controversial — some even comparing Bush to Hitler — the winning ad was far from scandalous.
Though the intentions of such a commercial may be obvious, it is not the media’s place to question them. Despite CBS’ supposedly strict policy of not running advocacy ads, we will still see anti-smoking spots and another reefer-madness ad courtesy of the White House itself. It’s no coincidence that a media conglomerate with such slanted views on what advocacy means is currently working with the White House to expand media ownership laws.
If this is any indication of where our media is headed, we can expect more propaganda and less balance. As media conglomerates grow, information becomes controlled by few but dispersed to many. In order to make informed decisions, the public should be entitled to all sides and all opinions.