Pro-Life Group Protests CNN Running Misleading NARAL Abortion Ad

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 18, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Group Protests CNN Running Misleading NARAL Abortion Ad Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 18, 2005

Atlanta, GA ( — After a national flap about the misleading nature of a NARAL ad attacking Supreme Court nominee John Roberts, the pro-abortion organization pulled the television commercial. However, their actions came after CNN agreed to run the ad and a pro-life group is upset and saying the news station doesn’t have a consistent policy on running ads related to abortion.

Fidelis, a Catholic pro-life organization based in Michigan, has begun a campaign targeting CNN for bias saying the news network agreed to run the false NARAL ad but refused in 1998 to air a pro-life ad from Right to Life of Michigan featuring international humanitarian Mother Teresa.

The email and fax blitz has swamped CNN President Jim Walton’s office with more than 10,000 email messages.

The barrage was so high that Walton sent a note to his colleagues telling them he would only be available by phone until he could clear his emailbox, according to Knight Ridder News.

Fidelis President Joseph Cella said his group specifically targeted Walton.

"We feel that the day-to-day decision-makers need to hear directly from the public," he said Tuesday.

CNN spokeswoman Laurie Goldberg said the network doesn’t normally pay attention to mass campaigns like this one.

"We welcome individual feedback," she told Knight Ridder. "When a message is clearly mass produced, that counts as one e-mail."

Still, CNN contacted Fidelis and Right to Life of Michigan and issued a copy of their policy governing advocacy advertising which they claim dates back to the late 1980s or the early 1990s.

According to the policy, CNN "accepts advocacy advertising from responsible groups from across the political spectrum who wish to express their views and their opinions about issues of public importance … advertisements will be … fact checked and debated."

Fidelis says "CNN violated its own policy of fact-checking, and kept the ad on the air even after the ad was declared ‘false’ by the nonpartisan Annenberg Foundation."

Fidelis also points out that reverberations from its campaign "have been felt deep within the CNN executive offices in Atlanta."

The pro-life group points to an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper in which a CNN source discussed the effect the campaign was having on their daily operations, calling it "unusually disruptive."

Related web sites:
Fidelis –