CNN says no thanks to Obama half-hour

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CNN said Tuesday that the network has rejected an attempt by the Barack Obama campaign to purchase airtime for its primetime ad tonight.

"We did not want to pre-empt our programming lineup with a 30-minute spot," a CNN spokesman said. "We'd rather use our air to continue to cover the campaign, candidates and issues like we always do from all points of view with the best political team on television."

MSNBC is planning to air the ad along with its broadcast partner NBC. Sources said Fox News was not approached by the Obama campaign.

CNN and Fox News said they plan to cover the ad as part of their usual nightly news programming. "CNN will cover it as a news story, just like we do with all the other campaign ads," it said.

The Obama campaign's unusual purchase of a half-hour of primetime has generated considerable curiosity about the ad's content. "Saturday Night Live" mocked the ad last week, sight unseen.

NBC, Fox, CBS, Univision and MSNBC will carry the ad in full. Fox will air the ad as lead-in to the disrupted conclusion of Monday night's World Series game, which was suspended after six innings because of rain.

ABC was offerred the Obama ad, yet executives initially were hesitant to air an ad that pre-empted its struggling Wednesday night drama block. The network eventually offerred the time slot, but by then the Obama campaign had made other arrangements.

The network will air "Pushing Daisies" in time period instead.

"I certainly have hopes and dreams of the Republican Party saving our show," "Daisies" creator Bryan Fuller wrote when asked about airing opposite the ad. "But I'm also hopeful there are a vast majority of Democrats that already know who they're voting for and will be voting for 'Daisies' instead of some silly old political ad (vote Obama!)." (partialdiff)
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