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TV Stations Reject Anti-M50 Ad Due to Misleading Content September 11, 2007

Filed under: 2007 Special Election — taoiseach @ 12:24 pm

The Eugene Register-Guard has two items on Measure 50 in today’s paper, which is just golden by Boundary standards.

First, the RG reports that four television stations in Oregon refused to air an anti-Measure 50 advertisement from Oregonians Against the Blank Check because of a misleading statement about who paid for the ad (ironically, registration is required):Smoking Beaver

The TV ad initially identified Oregonians Against the Blank Check and Reynolds American as the ad’s sponsor. Reynolds American is the parent company of the RJ Reynolds Tobacco Co.

But some Measure 50 supporters and TV viewers contend that Reynolds American should be listed as the sole sponsor since the tobacco company is, to date, the sole contributor to Oregonians Against the Blank Check. Reynolds American has contributed about $1.8 million.

It’s true: the only ‘Oregonians’ against the blank check paying for that ad are Mark Nelson and J.L. Wilson, and with none of their own money. It’s all R.J. Reynolds cash. And wouldn’t you believe it, local Fox affiliates (as well as one CW station) sided with accuracy and fair citation:

Measure opponents said Monday that they plan to flip the tagline so that the ad now declares that it is paid for by Reynolds American and authorized by Oregonians Against the Blank Check.

That apparently suits Mark Metzger, general manager at KLSR-TV, the Fox network affiliate in Eugene. KLSR-TV and its sister station, KEVU-TV, are among the four stations in Oregon that said they would not continue running the ad until the tagline was changed. KRCW, a WB affiliate in Portland, and KMVU, a Fox affiliate in Medford, also pulled the ads.

David Steves of the RG also has a lengthy summary of the Measure 50 campaign thus far, with a fairly good chase on the money on both sides:

[. . . the] campaign to pass Measure 50 has raised $1.1 million. About one-third has come specifically from HMOs, along with businesses closely affiliated with such entities.

In all, three-quarters of the campaign’s money so far has come from donors with ties to the health care field: doctors, nurses, hospitals, HMOs, insurance companies and nonprofit advocacy groups such as the American Heart and American Lung associations.

And the anti-Measure 50 side has just one very reliable, very rich source:

All the money Wilson’s group has collected for the campaign – $1.8 million so far – is from the tobacco giant Reynolds American.

Let’s hope the media keep up the good leg work on letting the voters know the true source of Measure 50 opposition. It shouldn’t be too hard, as it’s only coming from one place: Big Tobacco pockets.

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3 Responses to “TV Stations Reject Anti-M50 Ad Due to Misleading Content”

  1. Rae Richen Says:

    Letter received today from Reynolds group, Oregonians Against the Blank Check,

    Who is the first grade teacher, Ben Matthews of Salem? does he exist? And if real, why should we take his word for his “research” about the “Healthy Kids Program?

    Who paid to print and mail his letter?

    Reynolds, of course.

    Sincerely,
    Rae Richen of Portland, Oregon

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