NBC to Air Freedom’s Watch Ads, AP Seems Displeased

Looking to head off even more controversy, NBC announced Saturday that it has reversed its decision to not show ads supporting the troops during the holidays.

Yet, that didn't seem to please the Associated Press which in its article concerning this u-turn chose to depict Freedom's Watch as "a group backed by wealthy Republican fundraisers" that is "critical of liberals."

Was this the appropriate moment to so categorize this organization? If the situation was somewhat reversed, would the AP have characterized MoveOn.org or Media Matters for America as a group backed by wealthy Democrat fundraisers that is critical of conservatives?

Before we get there, AP reported Saturday (emphasis added throughout):

NBC reversed course Saturday and decided to air a conservative group's television ad thanking U.S. troops.

The ad, by the group Freedom's Watch, asks viewers to remember the troops during the holiday season. NBC had refused to air the ad because it guides viewers to the Freedom's Watch Web site, which NBC said was too political.

But in a statement issued Saturday evening, NBC said:

"We have reviewed and changed our ad standards guidelines and made the decision that our policy will apply to content only and not to a referenced Web site. Based on these amended standards the Freedom's Watch ad will begin to run as early as Sunday."

Sadly, the AP didn't appear happy with this decision:

The group's home page is critical of liberals and has a link to a page urging lawmakers not to "cut and run" from the war in Iraq. The home page also links to another Freedom's Watch page dedicated to ways to assist the troops and provides links to organizations that send care packages to soldiers.

[...]

Freedom's Watch, a group backed by wealthy Republican fundraisers, has emerged as one of the best-financed conservative groups. It seeks to be a vocal advocate of President Bush's current policy in Iraq.

If this was about one of the liberal organizations that Hillary Clinton has admitted she helped create and supports, would such have been disclosed by the AP? When this wire service does stories concerning MoveOn.org, does it always refer to the group's primary benefactor George Soros, and that it seeks to be a vocal opponent of President Bush's policies as well as an advocate of liberal Democrat candidates?

Yes, those are rhetorical questions.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.