I read the paper version first and looked for it on line so I could blog about, among other things, the overdone political tone of the headline.
A local television station, WNYW/Channel 5, is refusing to run a provocative advertisement promoting a Democratic candidate for Manhattan borough president. And the campaign of the candidate, Brian Ellner, is charging that the station is doing so because the spot takes a swipe at President Bush.
Brian Ellner, right, a candidate for Manhattan borough president, introduced his partner at the end of his commercial.
The 30-second ad features Mr. Bush's face superimposed upon a middle-aged man's naked torso as Mr. Ellner says of the president that "the emperor has no clothes." Mr. Ellner also introduces his partner, Simon Holloway, in the spot - which the campaign says is the first time in city history that a gay candidate has introduced his or her partner in a campaign commercial.
So, did the station reject the ad because Ellner makes a show of being gay, because it ridicules Bush, because it shows a naked torso, because it shows a naked, middle-aged torso, because it puts a real person's face on someone else's naked torso, because that real person is Bush, or because it combines a gay theme and the depiction of Bush naked?
Mr. Ellner said in an interview yesterday that representatives of Channel 5, a Fox affiliate, had told his campaign that they would not show the advertisement because it was "in poor taste."All Ellner needs to do to prove that is point to other ads that the station runs that are at the same level of taste or lower. If you don't have that, maybe you lack the judgment to be Mahattan borough president.
"It's pretty clear it's an anti-free speech decision because of our criticism of the president," Mr. Ellner said.
"It's untenable and in my view it's anti-American." He added that the rejection of the ad was "disrespectful to voters."