Norton is an entrenched incumbent in an overwhelmingly liberal district.
But the political contest is beside the point, although Missy has run a serious campaign, she tells me, making inroads at several black churches. Missy won the Republican primary with 87% of the vote.
Federal law mandates network stations must air candidate’s ads unedited. More on the law in the Politico story below.
Missy tells me at present she has contracted to air her ads a total of 15 times beginning October 18 on all the major networks – ABC, CBS, NBC – and several cable* outlets such as MTV. Missy is targeting youth audiences on such shows as David Letterman, Jon Stewart, and Stephen Colbert. (*Cable stations aren’t bound by the same federal laws as network stations, so Missy is currently in negotiations with them. But the network ads are definitely happening.)
Missy will continue to run ther ads as long as the money keeps coming in. She promises 100% of donations will go to fund airing them. Donate here. Reminder: DC is the belly of the abortion beast.
Not only will the ads themselves get attention, but our issue is getting attention. Missy called this morning to say the local ABC News affiliate was on its way to conduct an interview to air on its news show tonight.
Here are the ads. WARNING: Graphic.
Ben Smith from Politico explained the legal mandate to run the ads in a piece this morning:
An anti-abortion candidate running for Washington, D.C.’s shadow Congressional seat will begin airing a harrowingly graphic campaign advertisement on local broadcast channels beginning next week.Why not, Ben? I thought journalists were supposed to pursue the truth, wherever it leads. Again, please donate generously to Missy Smith’s campaign here for a rare opportunity to get the truth of abortion out on network television – and in an urban area that desperately needs to see the truth.
The candidate, Missy Smith, is an ally of longtime hard-line anti-abortion activist Randall Terry, and her ad features horrifying images of aborted fetuses.
“I killed two of my babies by abortion,” she says in the ad. “Obama, Pelosi, Reid, [Rep. Eleanor Holmes] Norton – they all support the murder of babies.”
The ad, linked at the bottom of these items, contains extremely disturbing images, but a lawyer for Allbritton Communications, which owns the D.C. ABC affiliate WJLA (and also owns Politico) said the stations have no choice but to air it.
“Much as broadcasters may be repulsed by these graphic images and are sensitive to their viewers, Federal law requires stations to air the spots,” Allbritton general counsel Jerry Fritz wrote in an e-mail.
Fritz cited a similar 1992 GA case in which an anti-abortion candidate, Daniel Becker, sought to run a similar ad on an Atlanta station.
“The station asked the FCC for permission to channel the spot into time periods when children would be less likely to be in the audience – late night. Other broadcasters joined in and asked the commission for the right to refuse the spot altogether,” Fritz e-mails. “The FCC gave permission to permit the channeling, but Becker appealed. The D.C. Court of Appeals found for the candidate in a 1996 decision.”
The reason, per Fritz: The Communications Act requires broadcast stations to sell “reasonable amounts” of ad time to qualified Federal candidates, and bars stations from making any changes to those spots, in what’s known as the “no censorship” provision.
Fritz added that in his understanding, Smith requested ad time from WRC, WTTG and WUSA as well as WJLA.
The ad can be seen here, but I don’t recommend it.