TV Networks Continue to Ban Ads for Peace

"MTV has refused to accept a commercial opposing a war in
Iraq, citing a policy against advocacy spots that it says
protects the channel from having to run ads from any
cash-rich interest group whose cause may be loathsome. ... 'It is irresponsible for news organizations not to accept
ads that are controversial on serious issues, assuming they
are not scurrilous or in bad taste,' said Alex Jones,
director of the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press,
Politics and Public Policy at Harvard. 'In the world we
live in, with the kind of media concentration we have, the
only way that unpopular beliefs can be aired sometimes is
if the monopoly vehicle agrees to accept an ad.' ... Broadcast operations with blanket no-advocacy policies
include CBS, ABC, NBC, and Fox Broadcasting, along with
cable channels like CNN and MTV, a Viacom subsidiary. The policy at CBS protects the integrity of its news
department, the public discourse and local sensibilities
around the country, said Martin Franks, executive vice
president. ... 'On the CBS television network,' he added, 'we think that informed discussion comes from our news programming.' "