ABC Charlotte affiliate WSOC-TV and CBS Raleigh affiliate WRAL-TV are refusing to air the North Carolina Republican Party TV ad featuring the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, an ad condemned by both the RNC and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.
"I just don’t think it’s appropriate to be on our air," Joe Pomilla, general manager for WSOC-TV, told The Charlotte Observer. "I think it’s offensive, and I’m not real comfortable with the implications around race."
Technically the ad is against Democratic gubernatorial candidates Bev Perdue and Richard Moore, who have endorsed Obama. But only nominally. It’s clear purpose is to tag Obama as "extreme."
"For 20 years, Barack Obama sat in his pew listening to his pastor," the narrator says.
Cue Rev. Wright and his "God d— America" sermon.
"They should know better," the narrator says of the local Dems who endorsed Obama. "He’s just too extreme for North Carolina."
The North Carolina Democratic Party has called the ad racist. Jerry Meek, the chairman of the N.C. Democratic Party, told the Winston-Salem Journal that the ad is attempting to exploit racial bias among white voters.
"It clearly is the case that this is part of the ‘Southern strategy,’" Meek said. "It’s been around for a long time. This is a page directly out of something that Jesse Helms would do."
But North Carolina GOP Chair Linda Daves denied any racial motivations behind the ad.
"If Senator Clinton had a pastor who made these same anti-American statements and the Democrat candidates for Governor endorsed her, we would be running the same ad," she said.
This controversy comes at the same time Wright has decided to propel himself back into the public sphere, starting with an interview to air tonight on PBS.