Skip to comments.Same-sex marriage got free ads (on Time Warner Cable)
Posted on 08/16/2011 11:58:42 AM PDT by NYer
ALBANY -- Time Warner Cable gave advocates of same-sex marriage $70,846 of free airtime this spring, lobbying records show.
The communications giant aired ads produced by the Human Rights Campaign as part of its "New Yorkers for Marriage Equality" series during March and May, as Gov. Andrew Cuomo pushed for same-sex marriage in a statewide tour.
The ads featured actors such as Whoopi Goldberg and Cynthia Nixon, athletes like Sean Avery and Michael Strahan, and politicians including Chuck Schumer, Kirsten Gillibrand, Tom DiNapoli and Michael Bloomberg talking about their support of same-sex marriage, and urging viewers to do the same.
"Join us in ending this outdated policy; come to the table for marriage equality," celebrity chef Mario Batali says in one video.
But initially, Time Warner considered the ads to be public service announcements, according to Susan Leepson, a regional vice president for communications at the company.
"Then, with the upcoming vote, we took a hard look and realized that HRC decided to declare them as lobbying," she explained.
Time Warner Cable has "not taken any position on that issue," Leepson said, and both she and spokesman Bobby Amirshahi suggested they were classified as public service announcements by mistake. PSAs are run free of charge by broadcast networks and promote a variety of non-controversial social causes such as child abuse prevention.
Leepson and Amirshahi also said TWC initially sought money from HRC to cover the fair market value of the airtime, but HRC was disinclined to pay.
"One option was for HRC to pay Time Warner for the airtime. The second option was that both organizations report their respective cost," said Kevin Nix, an HRC spokesman. "HRC and Time Warner agreed to the second, and both have reported their associated costs as lobbying expenses. We greatly appreciate our partnership with Time Warner and look forward to working with them again in the future."
Added Leepson: "We enjoy a great partnership with HRC."
In addition to its role as a cable company servicing New York City and most of upstate New York (rival Cablevision dominates the market on Long Island), Time Warner in recent years has nurtured a robust news division, with 24-hour dedicated news channels YNN and NY1. Both covered the campaign for same-sex marriage extensively.
It's unclear exactly how much airtime was in play, but PSAs generally don't run in prime ad slots. Amirshahi said the HRC ads ran on NY1 and CNN in the New York City market.
Advocates of same-sex marriage spent $1.37 million on airtime in May and June, ahead of the June 24 state Senate vote that approved same-sex marriage, according to disclosure reports filed with the Commission on Public Integrity. The money was spent by New Yorkers United for Marriage, an umbrella coalition of several established gay-rights groups including HRC.
The lobbying records show the National Organization for Marriage, which opposed that bill, spent $300,000 to air its own TV campaign (plus $203,762 for radio ads), including a sizable chunk to Time Warner.
The company received negative feedback for their decision to air NOM's ads, which insinuated that if same-sex marriage was legalized, it would lead to curricular changes in public schools. Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, an openly gay Democrat from Manhattan, wrote a formal complaint to NY1's managers, and one gay activist called for a boycott of the company.
I'm shocked!!! (/sarc)
I call you out, Chuck Schumer.
Chuck Schumer voted for the federal Defense of Marriage Act. That act, which the left compares to a Jim Crow law on the subject of marriage, defines marriage as 1 man and 1 woman.
So how can Chuck Schumer now go around yakking about how he supports homosexual marriage?????
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The homosexual “rights” battle has been lost by conservatives. Egalitarianism cannot be defeated for the foreseeable future. As a great historian stated: “Western society has lost its ability to excrete!”
I do not care if someone is gay. I do care that they say their gay marriage is the same as my male and female marriage. It is not!!! Even the concept is stupid.
If I am shopping and the Clerk is LGBST. I find the manager and tell them “ Sorry but due to the fact you hire LGBST, I will no longer shop here.
It will just take a few people to stand up against the LGBST and say we will not spend our money to support thier life style and the stores will get the message.
Was it even fought . . . ?
The homosexual rights battle has been lost by conservatives
But it has been defeated. Special treatment of certain groups is the exact antithesis of actually being so-called "egalitarian". What's been defeated is justice.
Egalitarianism cannot be defeated for the foreseeable future
The “I-do-not-care-if-someone-is-gay” fallacy is the very reason we are in this sh*t hole. I DO care and don’t want any pervert to be involved in any sphere of my life.
I am not a fan of Pat Robertson, but he scored a goal with this truthful statement.
In history there's never been a civilization ever in history that has embraced homosexuality and turned away from traditional fidelity, traditional marriage, traditional child-rearing, and has survived. There isn't one single civilization that has survived that openly embraced homosexuality. So you say, "what's going to happen to America?" Well if history is any guide, the same thing's going to happen to us.
Those who do not learn from history are forced to repeat it. All the "great" civilizations collapsed after legitimizing the gay lifestyle.
Gee, shall the Catholic Church and Natural Family Planning sue for equally free time on TV?
>>> Gee, shall the Catholic Church and Natural Family Planning sue for equally free time on TV?
Why would they bother? One of the channels carried by the system is the Catholic network. If a 24/7 cable religious channel isn’t enough to put the Catholic message out, what would?
I see EWTN is running live coverage of a Papal Audience now.
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