TV political ad question

Donna Halper
Thu Aug 2 15:40:22 EDT 2012

First, I hope we don't veer off into an  "I agree with the ad" or "I 
hate that ad" conversation.  I am not so much concerned with the ad per 
se, as I am concerned with what stations (both TV and radio) are and are 
not allowed to air these days.  Two nights ago, during the channel 4 
news at 6pm, I saw a Karl Rove super-pac ad against President Obama.  
Okay fine, there's tons of pro-Obama and anti-Obama ads on the air.  But 
what made this one worrisome to me is it featured Scott Pelley, CBS 
evening anchor.  It showed him reading a news report about how bad the 
economy was, and then it moved into the ad's talking points about how 
the economy was President Obama's fault.  Talking points aside, are PACs 
allowed to use the image and likeness of news anchors in their political 
ads?  Makes it seem as if the anchor endorses or agrees with that 
message. I know the rules have changed, but how much can a news anchor 
(be they perceived as right-wing or left-wing or neutral) be used in a 
political ad?  I assume Pelley did not authorize the use of his newscast 
in the ad, but are there any rules?

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