The President and General Manager of ABC-owned WLS-TV in Chicago says he doesn’t know why the campaign of 8th Dist. Congressional candidate Tammy Duckworth sent out out a news release today saying the station refused to air an anti-Duckworth ad.
“The ad is still under review, as is our standard practice,” President and GM John Idler said in a phone interview Monday evening. “We check every ad through our standards and practice.”
The TV commercial supporting Tea Party Republican Joe Walsh is funded by a the SuperPAC Now or Never.
In a release earlier today, Duckworth’s campaign stated:
“Chicago area television station WLS has refused to air a false television ad produced by the far right-wing SuperPAC Now or Never.”
A Duckworth spokeswoman earlier today said a WLS “source” informed the campaign that the ad would not run. “A source reached out to us to let us know about WLS’s decision,” said spokeswoman Kaitlin Fahey.
That was news to WLS, according to Idler.
“We didn’t speak to anybody at the Duckworth campaign,” Idler said.
Idler said if the commercial meets its standards: “You’ll see it on the air.”
Larry Wert, NBC-Universal’s General Manager said that the ad was cleared and would be on-air later Monday.
A spokesman for the SuperPAC said Monday that every TV station handles ad vetting differently. It isn’t uncommon, he said, for a station to ask that the claims in the ad are backed up.
Actually having an ad pulled permanently or banned completely is unusual, however.
“You have to come up with an ad that is really coloring outside the lines for it to stay down,” said spokesman Tyler Harper. “You only challenge things like this if you think it’s going to hurt.”