Major networks declined to run an ad on their Sunday morning news shows from a bipartisan group of former senators warning of the seriousness of an Iranian nuclear bomb.
The ad comes from a new group called the American Security Initiative (ASI), which is led by former Sens. Saxby Chambliss (R, Ga.), Evan Bayh (D, Ind.), and Norm Coleman (R., Minn.).
Featured in the ad is a terrorist driving a van containing a nuclear bomb that detonates in the United States. It ends by urging for passage of the Corker-Menendez Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, which would require any Iranian nuclear deal reached by the administration to be approved by Congress.
The group spent $500,000 to get the ad on the airwaves, specifically targeting markets in Washington, D.C., Lexington, Ky., and Springfield, Ill. The ads in Kentucky and Illinois call out Sens. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) and Dick Durbin (D., Ill.).
Though the ASI ad is on cable in each of the targeted markets, ABC, CBS, and NBC all declined to run the ad during their Sunday morning news programming.
Fox News aired the ad multiple times during Fox News Sunday.
ABC informed ASI that because the “subject matter” of the ad is “currently pervasive” in the news, the ad could not be aired during This Week with George Stephanopoulos.
Susan Sewell, ABC’s vice president of media relations, said that ABC is unable to comment further on the matter due to company policy.
CBS said the ad was declined for Face the Nation on a national level because it “didn’t meet their standards,” but declined to comment further on the situation. Local affiliates of CBS were free to make their own decision on whether or not to air the ad, but none chose to run it.
Attempts to buy ad time during NBC’s Meet the Press were also unsuccessful, though no reason was given for the decision. Multiple requests for comment to NBC have gone unanswered.
The ad has been on the air since last week on multiple cable channels including CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC. Comcast, which owns NBC, is also running the ad in local markets.
Christopher Maloney, a spokesman for ASI, said that the American people should be concerned that the networks refused to run an ad addressing an issue that can “directly impact our national security.”
“Millions of network news viewers across the country are actively seeking information about our government’s ongoing negotiations with Iran,” Maloney said. “I think many Americans, regardless of their political persuasion, would be concerned to learn that ABC, CBS, and NBC decided not to run an ad discussing what can be done to influence the debate surrounding these negotiations, and how they carry the potential to directly impact our national security.”