Wednesday, October 29, 2008

When Sports Are Used for Political Hypocrisy

Here's another one of those "you can't make this stuff up" moments. Yesterday, Sen. McCain complained about Sen. Obama's purchase of prime time television airtime tonight before the World Series:
No one will delay the World Series with an infomercial when I'm president.

However, there are two teeny tiny problems with this complaint. First, according to Politico:

A Fox Broadcasting executive denied that Barack Obama's half-hour ad, scheduled for tomorrow night, forced Fox and Major League Baseball to delay the start of a World Series game.

That notion -- which had been reported repeatedly, including here, has become a Republican talking point.

"No one will delay the World Series game with an infomercial when I'm president," John McCain said today.

But the Fox account executive who negotiated the ad buy said Obama's ad isn't delaying the first pitch -- it's just replacing the pre-game show.

"Our first pitch for the world series is usually around 8:30 anyway – so we didn’t push back the game, it was really just about suspending the pre-game -- you know, Joe Buck," said the account executive, Joe Coppola. "That’s all we did."

He said World Series games this season have begun between 8:22 p.m. and 8:35 p.m."We didn’t push back the game at all," he said. He also said Obama had initially arranged to buy the time only if the Series were over before Game Six (in fact, a rain-delayed Game Five will continue tomorrow night), but Fox then decided to sell the campaign the time whether or not the game was played."

By no means did they push to get us to accommodate them with Game Six," said Coppola, whom the Obama campaign suggested I call. "We’re just missing the pregame, which isn’t a big deal for us. It was a business decision."

And remember, this is Fox that we're talking about. You remember Fox, don't you? Hannity? O'Reilly? Yeah, that Fox.

Second, I wonder how many people remember that the opening game of this year's NFL season was moved from a 8:30 kickoff to a 7:00 kickoff. Why? To accommodate Sen. McCain's convention speech! I guess that was OK while delaying (not really) the start of a baseball game is problematic. I'm gonna have to work my brain around that one...


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