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Networks Talk Ads, But Ignore the NAACP's

ABC, CBS, NBC Air NARAL Ad for Gore; ABC, CBS Hit Ads Against Gore on Sharpton, Chinagate

- The NAACP ad suggesting George W. Bush "killed" James Byrd "all over again" over a Texas "hate crimes" bill is still being ignored by ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN's newscasts. But the same networks have shown interest in other liberal and conservative ads.

- Last night, ABC, CBS, and NBC uncritically aired pieces of an ad from the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL). As NBC's Claire Shipman explained, "pro-choice organizations are spending big money for ads like these make the case that a vote for Nader could mean the end of a woman's right to choose." On Wednesday night's NewsStand on CNN, anchor Greta Van Susteren showed the NARAL ad in its entirety, free of charge.

- ABC's Aaron Brown reported an entire story on ad campaigns, showing brief clips of NARAL's ad, plus ads made by the NRA and Handgun Control Incorporated. While he skipped the NAACP ad, he did find time to question an anti-Gore ad from a group called Americans Against Hate. Immediately after clips of the gun group ads, Brown intoned: "Harsher still, this ad tying Gore to controversial black activist Al Sharpton, who the ad says praised Adolf Hitler."

- This morning, TV stars had a new anti-Gore ad to question: an ad saying "Vote Republican" that cheesily reproduces the 1964 "Daisy" ad implying Barry Goldwater would start a nuclear war. On CBS, Bryant Gumbel asked for Al Gore's reaction to that ad, but not the NAACP's ad (See box).

- On ABC's Good Morning America, anchor Antonio Mora began by noting "The Bush campaign is crying foul over a series of taped anti-Bush telephone messages the Michigan Democratic Party is playing to state residents. One call is from actor Ed Asner. In another, a caller who identifies herself as Ann Friday of Dallas appears to blame Bush for her husband's death in a nursing home." ABC played this audio clip: "He could be alive today if it weren't for the neglect he experienced. When George W. Bush ran for governor, he promised to improve the quality of life for nursing home residents. But Governor Bush broke that promise." Mora added: "The Bush campaign claims Bush has actually strengthened quality regulations for Texas nursing homes and it denies a claim in the Democrats' phone message that complaints about the nursing homes have doubled."

- Mora added: "A different example of nastiness is coming from a mysterious group that has produced a new TV ad that suggests Gore could draw the U.S. into nuclear war. The ad mimics Lyndon Johnson's infamous 'Daisy' commercial and accused the Democrat of endangering the U.S. by giving nuclear secrets to China. At the end of the ad, a nuclear explosion is shown, followed by the words 'Vote Republican.' It's not known who put the money up for the ad."

- Why the rush to this mysterious ad? An Associated Press story this morning began: "The Gore campaign said a new Republican attack advertisement modeled after the infamous 'Daisy' commercial...is a 'desperate tactic' by conservatives to help George W. Bush." While the AP promoted the "Daisy" ad story today as "top news," they have yet to report on the NAACP ad. - Tim Graham