“Executives at cable giant Insight Communications have given Senator Mitch McConnell $17,000 in campaign contributions for his campaigns. And they now are helping him even more by engaging in political censorship by refusing to run Public Campaign Action Fund’s commercial that criticizes McConnell for his special interest politics.
“Network affiliates and another cable system in Kentucky ran the ad after reviewing its content for accuracy. But with Insight, Public Campaign Action Fund was neither given an opportunity to respond to any of their concerns, nor were we notified of their decision to pull the commercial from rotation on a prime viewing slot. This is highly irregular and their action reeks of censorship.
To pull further from their relese, PCAF raises important questions that we’ll unfortunately probably never have answers to:
- Since every other outlet in Kentucky ran the ad after reviewing its content for accuracy, what is Insight’s justification for deciding not to air the ad?
- Which executives made this decision and did they make it without reviewing the background documentation that supports the ad that other media companies found adequate?
- What role did Insight lobbyist Keith Hall or Insight CEO Mike Willmer, both McConnell donors and allies, play in making this decision to censor the ad? Were they or anyone else at Insight urged by McConnell or his aides to censor this ad?
- What has Mitch McConnell done for Insight on the issues that directly impact Insight’s bottom line?
- Has Insight lobbied McConnell to further its interests, and how much campaign money have Willner and his associates bundled for McConnell’s campaigns and PACs?
The pulling of PCAF’s ad critical of McConnell reeks of censorship and is a complete violation of freedom of speech. McConnell, who supports flag burning and says he believes freedom of speech is one of the most important rights we have as citizens, is the very person stifling dissent.
Forget 2007. It’s already decided. 2008 is ON. Discussion and promotion of campaigns and candidates in 2008 will not affect fundraising or focus in this year’s election. We’re less than 8 weeks away from E-Day and we think it’s time to start the next cycle early.
UPDATE: Insight has approved the ad for airing.