Clear Channel Won't Clear Political Advertising Critical of Repub
By Lee Russ
Saturday, March 18, 2006 at 05:24 PM
The Reading Eagle is reporting yet another example of Clear Channel finding a non-political explanation of their "business decision" to refuse political advertising. For some reason, their refusals seem to always involve rejecting ads that criticize Republicans, conservatives, or issues those two groups advocate.Excerpts:
The company that silenced Howard Stern has muzzled 6th Congressional District candidate Lois Murphy.
Murphy, a Montgomery County Democrat, just wanted to pay for a billboard chastising Republican incumbent Jim Gerlach for keeping $30,000 in campaign contributions from former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.
DeLay, a Texas Republican who resigned his post earlier this year, was indicted on charges related to violating Texas' campaign-finance laws.
Murphy's proposed billboard featured dollar bills cascading over the U.S. Capitol dome along with the claim: "Congressman Gerlach you are part of the problem in Washington. Return Tom DeLay's money!"
The billboard would have gone up near the Belmont Avenue exit off the Schuylkill Expressway in suburban Philadelphia.
But Clear Channel's outdoor advertising division turned down Murphy's money and rejected the billboard.
"We were told by Clear Channel that they would not put up any billboard that would make Jim Gerlach mad," said Mark Nevins, a Murphy spokesman.
"Politics plays absolutely no role in reviewing ad copy," Clear Channel stated [on its web site, in a context not addressing this particular incident]. "In fact, Clear Channel Outdoor actively works with groups across the political spectrum to help them reach their target audiences.
"That said, we reserve the right to reject any copy that would be offensive to a local community."
Murphy's campaign blasts Clear Channel for being a generous contributor to President Bush and lists the company as a donor to Gerlach's campaign in 2005.
Clear Channel's political action committee gave $1,500 to Gerlach last year, according to Federal Elections Commission filings.
The company also gave about $22,000 to DeLay, according to the Washington, D.C., group The Center for Public Integrity.
By refusing Murphy's billboard proposal, Clear Channel succeeded in debunking another myth the one about all media being liberal.