Attorneys for the Republican Party are warning TV stations not to air a new commercial by the Democratic National Committee that charges President Bush misled the country in the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq. The video shows Bush saying, "Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."
Republicans said the ad is "deliberately false and misleading" because the ad omits the portion of Bush's statement where he points out that the disputed information came from the British government.
A letter from Republican counsel to TV stations in Wisconsin reads in part, "The Democratic National Committee certainly has a legitimate First Amendment right to participate in political debate, but it has no right to willfully spread false information in a deliberate attempt to mislead the American people... as an FCC licensee you have the responsibility to exercise independent editorial judgment to not only oversee and protect the American marketplace of ideas, essential for the health of our democracy, but also to avoid deliberate misrepresentations of the facts."
The letter concludes: "Such obligations must be taken seriously. This letter puts you on notice that the information contained in the above-cited advertisement is false and misleading; therefore, you are obligated to refrain from airing this advertisement."
A message on the DNC website now reads: "This is the ad President Bush doesn't want you to see."