ABC, CBS, CNN and NBC have blocked an ad from Donald Trump’s administration which lists the president’s accomplishments so far and accuses the “fake news media” of failing to cover them.
The First 100 Days ad shows news anchors Andrea Mitchell of NBC, Wolf Blitzer of CNN, Rachel Maddow of MSNBC, Scott Pelley of CBS and George Stephanopoulos of ABC with a ‘fake news’ graphic superimposed over their faces in capital letters.
ABC said the advert amounted to a “personal attack” on the networks while CNN said “the mainstream media is not fake news, and therefore the ad is false”. It said it would accept the ad if the graphic were removed.
In response to the Donald J. Trump for President campaign’s accusations of ad censorship: pic.twitter.com/0Rbanpf0dn
— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) May 2, 2017
Lara Trump, the president’s daughter-in-law and adviser, slammed the broadcasters’ ban as “a chilling precedent against free speech rights”. “Apparently the mainstream media are champions of the First Amendment only when it serves their own political views”, she wrote in a blog post.
The row over the ad represents a continuation of the hostile relationship president Trump has had with the mainstream media since coming to power.
CNN and the New York Times have faced repeated attacks from Trump, and at a campaign-style rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania last week, to mark his 100 days in office, he once again went on the attack, saying “media outlets like CNN and MSNBC are fake news”.
Fox News, which escapes criticism in the 30 second spot and has been frequently praised by the president, has not blocked the ad.