In Facebook advertisements, Trump’s campaign called on “liberal media” to broadcast Super Bowl advertisements.
“We know that the Fake News media will do everything they can to ensure that our ad never sees the light of day,” says the Facebook ad. “That’s why I’m asking you to step up and ASK that they broadcast our advertising during the Super Bowl.”
“REQUEST THE LIBERAL MEDIA TO SEND OUR AD,” continues the advertisement. The Trump campaign did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
In recent months Facebook has been subjected to careful scrutiny for its advertising policy which allows politicians to lie on its platform. The issue took on national significance last fall after Trump’s campaign posted a Facebook ad telling the truth about former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
Trump’s most recent Facebook announcement is misleading for two reasons, according to Andrew Schwartzman, a media law expert at the Benton Foundation, a civil society group.
First, the Super Bowl, and by extension, the announcement of the Trump Bowl Super Bowl, will be broadcast exclusively on Fox, whose president, Rupert Murdoch, shares close ties with Trump. Other media companies will have no role in determining whether Fox is broadcasting the campaign announcement. Fox did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Second, the Federal Communications Commission regulations prohibit broadcasters such as Fox from refusing political advertising by legally qualified candidates for the federal office.
“They have to publish the announcement,” said Schwartzman. “The only change they can make is if the ad doesn’t meet sponsorship identification requirements by saying” paid by so-and-so “in letters of a certain size. That’s it.”
While the FCC enforces policy advertising policies on TV broadcasters and television networks, the regulations do not apply to cable networks, said Schwartzman. In addition, the rules do not typically apply to cable companies that are simply transporting channels of broadcasters to cable subscribers.