MSNBC and its parent, General Electric, refuse to air MoveOn.org’s ad calling for a boycott of Target, stating the spot doesn’t “comply with NBC’s ‘Controversial Issue Advertising policy,’ because the ad is a direct attack on an individual business.” (In fact, the ad referenced “Target and other corporations.”) The advocacy group had purchased a week of airtime in Minneapolis and nationally on MSNBC, according to a MoveOn.org release.
The ad accused the Minneapolis-based big-box retailer of “trying buy our elections,” but shied away from mentioning more controversial aspects of Target’s recent political dealings: a $150,000 donation to MN Forward, a PAC that supports a GOP-endorsed gubernatorial candidate known for affiliations with anti-gay figures and opposition to marriage equality. But today’s press release does name Tom Emmer.
“The ad is part of an on-going campaign against Target Corporation for trying to buy elections following Target’s $150,000 donation in Minnesota Governor’s race on behalf of far-right state Rep. Tom Emmer in Minneapolis. Target is one of the very first companies to take advantage of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision allowing unlimited corporate cash in elections,” it reads.
“According to MSNBC and GE it is alright for corporations, like Target, to attack candidates and buy elections, but it is not OK for citizen organizations, like MoveOn, to fight back. This is the height of hypocrisy,” said Justin Ruben, MoveOn.org’s Executive Director in the statement. “Target Corporation decided to use the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision to try to buy the Minnesota Governor’s election and now GE and MSNBC are protecting them from deserved consumer backlash. It’s good to know that cronyism is alive and well in the corporate takeover of America.”
MSNBC’s refusal Thursday to air the ad keeps the Target boycott – which seemed to show signs of tapering off, slightly, in the public consciousness – in the headlines a bit longer.
On Monday, the national Human Rights Campaign announced that negotiations had broken down with Target over the possibility of the corporation giving an equal sum to pro-LGBT candidates in Minnesota. The campaign then announced that if Target wouldn’t donate $150,000 to equality-minded politicians, it would.