Trump Threatens TV Stations Airing PAC Ads

Now the President wants to pick a fight over a SuperPac political ad — all this as the country endures a massive cultural, health and economic disruption. 

Will TV stations go without Trump campaign ads later this year?

His campaign issued a cease-and-desist letter to TV stations running an ad from Priorities USA Action, a PAC that has supported Democratic presidential candidates. In addition to showing a chart of coronavirus cases rise, with Trump's comments playing down the virus, it also references Trump saying the word “hoax.”

The Trump campaign says association to the word is in the context of "Democrat's politicization of the coronavirus outbreak.” Trump has said as “this is their new hoax,” in reference to Democrats.



So it is politics, the association in talking about the virus, and perhaps, who was to blame for the U.S.' slow response to the pandemic. Is the virus a hoax or is talking about the virus a hoax?

Here are the facts: At press time, over 2,800 people in the U.S. have died from COVID-19, among more than 150,000 confirmed cases. (Analyst say estimates are that cases could be 10 times that number.)

Trouble is Trump doesn’t have a healthy history of relaying facts.

While some of these mistruths, slips and outright lies have been corrected after the fact from his administration, virtually zero have come from the man himself. (In relation to the “Access Hollywood” tape in 2016, Trump did apologize in a video statement.)

Why this fight right now?

This year had been poised to be the biggest year ever for political advertising, due to the presidential election. So, will Trump e suing those outlets where his campaign might be running its own ads later this year?

Priorities USA Action has scheduled four creatives to run between March 24 and April 6, in the four major 2020 swing states of Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

The initial buy is for $6 million for TV and digital ad spend, with an estimated spend of $150 million overall for the entire presidential election cycle this year, according Advertising Analytics.

Will Trump's campaign punish those TV stations that have aired the Priorities USA political messaging by shifting future campaign messages away from those outlets to competitor TV stations, local cable TV operators, or local digital platforms?

That could make for an even more complicated TV election season.

5 comments about "Trump Threatens TV Stations Airing PAC Ads".
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  1. Michael Giuseffi from American Media Inc, March 31, 2020 at 2:19 p.m.

    Just like Trump, keeping his priorities straight.  What a sad man dangerous man.

  2. Tom Gray from WCMH, April 1, 2020 at 10:34 a.m.

    This ad using a health crisis as a political tool will only help Trump, he's crazy for wanting it pulled. Normal americans don't want to see such a despicable ad that seems to be promoting more cases and deaths so it hurts his reelection.

  3. Ken Kurtz from creative license replied, April 2, 2020 at 2:27 p.m.

    True that, Tom. What the left seems incapable of understanding is that the more they highlight these types of things, the more it helps Trump. Paradoxically, the less it "hurts his re-election."

    Here's what I've learned in nearly four years.

    Trump is not crazy. As such, he doesn't want the ad pulled. He's pretending he wants it pulled because that reaction... 

    1) fires up his base, and

    2) fires up the left to make sure that not only will it never be pulled, but that the SuperPac will double, triple, even quadruple down.

    Rubes like Friedman go along for the ride, helping to assure another four years of Trump (because both of those two reactions help Trump).

    Honestly, one of the damnedest, inexplicable things I've ever seen, the way the leftist media plays right into Trumps wily political ways.

    Remember the day before Election Day in 2016? The leftist media convinced themselves that Trump had zero chance, in part because they were so self-satisfied with the ongoing hatchet jobs they did on the buffoon. All those hatchet attacks actually elevated the guy, and got him elected.

    The left, and the leftist media, have proven themselves incapable of understanding this basic paradoxical truth. Surely, the ten thousand cuts they delivered day after day, and week after week to the guy made him less electable in 2016, no? And the ten million cuts they've continued to abuse his swollen body with since then? Surely that means Joe Biden will win this year, yes?

    Damnedest, most foolish and irresponsible blindness I've ever witnessed.

  4. Michael Giuseffi from American Media Inc, April 2, 2020 at 2:40 p.m.

    Amazing how rump supporters call the real media "leftist" because the truth hurts their feeings.  If the truth favors the left they hate it and issue epitaphs i.e. leftist media.

    I am so thoroughly amazed that even with an epidemic running rampant through the country these Trump supporters will buy any false narrative to protect their leader.

    There can be no doubt that Trump is completely unsuited to the job as President. He is a dangerous con man.  To call that out is patriotic. 

    I don't buy that calling this out will get him re-elected.  No.  

    And calling out Trump supporters as idiots or rascists or both makes me feel a whole lot better.  If the current situation doesn't convince them NOTHING will.

  5. PJ Lehrer from NYU, April 3, 2020 at 11:48 a.m.

    This is a brilliant ad that works.  That's why Trump is so desperate to get it off the air.

    He continues to make bad decisions that will cost more lives.  The public deserves to know that.  And he has to own his lies.

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