5:38am PT by Paul Bond
'Obama's America' Producer: CNN Snubbed Ad for Being 'Political' (Video)
TAMPA - The filmmakers of the conservative documentary 2016: Obama's America tell The Hollywood Reporter that CNN rejected one of the film's commercials but approved another that was submitted.
The cable news network confirmed it had passed on the first ad submitted for Obama's America, which ranks as the top documentary this year and is expected to expand into 2,000 theaters next week. However, CNN said it approved the film's second spot.
Asked why CNN dismissed the first commercial, a spokesperson cited rules that are laid out in a 3,300-word document called "Special Notices on Political Ads and Solicitations" that is put out by the Federal Election Commission. The document mostly sets forth the rules for disclaimers on political ads, but CNN declined to say which rule (or rules) the first ad allegedly broke.
Regarding the rejection of the first ad, the film's executive producer and co-director John Sullivan, said: "The fact of the matter is, our ads have been accepted by MSNBC, FOX, A&E, Discovery and the History channel with no objections raised. Only CNN raised red flags about the ads being political in nature. We hope CNN will reverse its position and accept our ads as have all the other networks and allow their viewers to learn about one of the top movies in the country."
On Monday, Obama's America surged to No. 2 at the domestic box office as the Republication National Convention rolled out in Tampa. The documentary, bested only by The Expendables 2, grossed an estimated $1.2 million for the day from 1,091 theaters, dropping a narrow 37 percent from Sunday.
Promoting the film at the Republican National Convention, Obama's America co-director Dinesh D’Souza lashed out at the media for bias and cowardice because they have ignored his film.
"A lot of these guys have just become moral cowards," D’Souza said. "Look at MSNBC. You could watch that channel and you wouldn’t even know we have a film out. You look at Lawrence O’Donnell, You look at Rachel Maddow. You look at Chris Matthews. I mean, look at those cowards … trying to pretend that there’s no film."