Why Was an Anti-Keystone Pipeline Ad Censored?

What happened to an anti-Keystone Pipeline ad slated to air during President Barack’s Tonight Show appearance? That’s a question environmental groups are asking after NBC’s last minute decision to reject the commercial, leaving some to speculate about what role oil companies played in banishing the ad from the airwaves.

According to NextGen Climate Action, the group that created and paid for the ad, the commercial was submitted early and met all of the guideline standards. However, local affiliate WRC/NBC in Washington waited until the evening of the show to tell the organization it would not be airing the commercial after all. Now, NextGen is challenging WRC/NBC to furnish a sworn affidavit that big oil companies did not impact the station’s choice to drop the ad.

“Given that we complied with the station’s process, the fact that the ad is accurate in exposing TransCanada’s representation regarding the Keystone Pipeline and WRC/NBC’s history of taking advertising petro-dollars, something simply does not smell right here,” said Executive Director of NextGen Climate Action, Tom Adams. “The public deserves to know whether WRC/NBC is censoring this ad because of actions by TransCanada or the fossil fuel industry’s $153 million in television ad spending.”Ě

NextGen Climate Action’s Rejected Ad

The commercial depicts a greedy and self-satisfied oil tycoon cackling at the lies told to the American public to persuade them to support the Keystone Pipeline. Citations appear at the bottom of the screen to validate the claims as they are made. Among the debunked myths are that U.S. gasoline prices will decrease and the pipeline will stop the country’s dependency on foreign oil. In truth, Consumer Watchdog anticipates the pipeline will cause gas prices to increase, while TransCanada refuses to pledge to keep the oil in the U.S.

The Keystone Pipeline was not only ignored during the commercial segments, but during Jay Leno’s interview, as well. Instead, the President discussed the economy, terrorist threats, Trayvon Martin, the NSA, diplomatic relations with Russia and broccoli.

Despite having been predominately ambiguous about the Keystone Pipeline over the past year, Obama has been more critical of TransCanada’s massive project in recent weeks, questioning its actual benefits to the American economy and claiming that the environmental impact needs to be taken into account.

Hopefully, NBC will offer some sort of explanation as to why it rejected an ad that challenged the oil industry. Whether big oil specifically forbad the commercial from airing or NBC was afraid to air a spot that vilified a major sponsor, the fact that pro-environment messages are being discarded in favor of potential profits signifies that major media outlets are tools for the rich, not the masses.


Jim Ven
Jim V2 years ago

thanks for the article.

Mark D.
Mark D.5 years ago

..and Canada thanks to its terrorist government, is a terrorist nation.

Mark D.
Mark D.5 years ago

David F. is a terrorist supporter

Sylvia M.
Sylvia M5 years ago

Tell everyone.

B Lewenza
B Lewenza5 years ago

They are unable to contain it here in Canada, what makes anyone think that it will do their environment any good. Keystone is trying to keep the leakage in Alberta all hushed up and still want to push it through.

Carrie-Anne Brown

thanks for sharing

Linda F.
.5 years ago

filthy tar sands oil will be spilling into pristine american wilderness

Ken W.
Ken W5 years ago


Julie D.
Julie D5 years ago

@ Dorothy N:
Can't send you any more stars just now for having sent you some for other things too recently but you certainly deserve a handful! Thank you for your awesome posts, I am so glad you are part of the conversation here on Care2.

Ernie Miller
william Miller5 years ago

What do you think? Big business looking after big business? I wonder if politics had anything to do with it? any one considered asking the presidents people if they pushed for the rejection?