Nothing in Bad Taste About Anti Drilling Ad Featuring Bush and Bandar

The Alaska Wilderness League submitted a design for a full-page ad to run in USA Today on Friday, September 16, to support the campaign to protect the Alaskan refuge from oil drilling. However, the ad was rejected via an email stating: "Our Advertising Administration considers the photo 'in poor taste' and will not allow the ad to run as is."

According to the League, the photo in question was taken by an Associated Press photographer on April 25, 2005 and featured Bush holding hands with then Crown Prince Abdullah in Crawford, TX. The ad headline read "IN GOOD HANDS? When it comes to AMERICA'S ENERGY POLICY, the answer is NO."

This photo, of course, created a big stir and was the topic of many TV talk show chatters, blogs, etc.

I can't for the life of me understand what is in bad taste about it. It is a photo of something that took place. And the League has as much right as anyone to state a straightforward position on the pending legislation before Congress. What's more likely, of course, is a nervous sales dept. at USA Today not wanting to anger an Administration that has huge buckets of ad money at its disposal, such as from the U.S. Army and ONDCP (the White House Drug Office).

The Alaska Wilderness League, Move On Political Action and dozens of other non-profit groups will hold a rally in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 20 to protest legislation that opens the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. A poison pill buried in the upcoming budget reconciliation bill would allow leasing and drilling in the refuge. This provision and others, according to the League, threaten to kill the entire budget resolution and committees have now shifted back budget reports to October 19.

An enlargement of the ad can be seen at

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