CENSORED: CNN Refuses To Air a Pro-Trump Ad Targeting Biden's Tax Plan

Brittany M. Hughes | October 28, 2020
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CNN is now openly refusing to run a pro-Trump campaign ad because it labels Nancy Pelosi a “socialist” and tells viewers that Biden will raise taxes on the middle class, both claims that CNN says are “not adequately substantiated.”

The ad, created by the pro-Trump America First Action (AFA), says Biden will “raise taxes on the middle class" and that "his liberal agenda will cost millions of jobs,” while accusing Pelosi of “siding with socialists” like NY Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

But despite the ad having been approved to run on both ABC and CBS, along with a slew of other channels, CNN is refusing to allow the ad because it “does not meet its commercial clearance standards.”

“WarnerMedia Commercial Clearance has not accepted America First Action's advertisement ‘We Are America' for its networks as the ad does not meet its commercial clearance standards,” an email from WarnerMedia stated. “Specifically, the ad asserts that Biden will raise taxes on the middle class. That claim is not adequately substantiated and has been judged false by independent fact-checkers. The advertisement also mischaracterizes Nancy Pelosi as a socialist.”

Except when it comes to checking the facts, it looks like CNN is the one that’s wrong here. Not only has Pelosi endorsed more than her fair share of socialist-backed policies, including her support for massive government programs and tax hikes on the wealthy, non-partisan economic groups have also explained that Biden’s tax plan will wind up trickling down to the middle class, whether directly or not.

For example, according to the Tax Foundation, one of several similar analyses:

When Biden says he will raise taxes on only those earning over $400,000, he is saying his tax law will target only those high-income taxpayers. Economists, however, trace the economic impact of these taxes past the person writing the check.

As Doug Holtz-Eakin recently pointed out, “it simply is not economically possible to segregate the impacts on the high-income from everyone else.” The rich purchase items from others, some not as rich, and from businesses that employ workers across the income spectrum. The corporate tax falls partly on workers in the form of lower pay, acknowledged by the Congressional Budget Office, the U.S. Treasury, Likewise, the individual income tax that is paid by pass-through businesses falls partly on employees of those businesses.  

The Foundation also notes that “even in direct terms (without considering economic effects), two of the policies proposed by the Biden-Harris campaign could result in direct tax increases on those earning less than $400,000,” including Biden’s plan to slash tax deductible amounts for retirement contributions and increase taxes on legally owned firearms.

The AFA is now accusing WarnerMedia of unfairly censoring their ad, penning in a letter from their attorney:

“While AFA’s opponents are, of course, permitted to purchase air time to try to rebut AFA’s claims, it is not the job of your network to censor a statement that is factually supported and relates to an important issue in the upcoming election,” wrote Stephen Kenny of Jones Day. “Indeed, every other cable network is currently airing AFA’s ad. If you continue to decline to air the ad, please let us know why the factual support outlined above is insufficient.”