With animated images of President George Bush over a naked torso, narration begins, "He says he promotes life, but sends our soldiers to die. He promises to leave no child behind, but won't fund our public schools. He claims he's a uniter but New Yorkers know the Emperor has no clothes."
The candidate for Manhattan Borough President then appears, walking down a sidewalk, speaking to the camera, "Hi, I'm Brian Ellner and I'm running for Manhattan Borough President to stand up for our progressive values and it starts here. I grew up in Stuyvesant Town and I know something about New Yorkers. We tell you how we feel, we don't make apologies for what we believe and we're not afraid of a fight."
Then, walking over to his partner Simon Holloway, he adds in closing, "I'm Brian Ellner and this is my partner Simon."
The commercial appears to be one of the first in the country to feature an openly gay candidate for office featuring a same-sex partner in the ad.
The 30-second ad was supported so far by $25,000 in media spending and was accepted to run on 15 major network and cable stations in New York City. However, it was rejected by Fox station WNYW-TV/Channel 5 for "poor taste," according to the Ellner campaign office. The New York Times
reported that Brandii Toby, a WNYW spokeswoman, confirmed the ad's rejection, but provided no further explanation. The article quoted Tim Arnold, a media advisor to Ellner, as saying the station told him that the commercial was rejected because it was "disrespectful of the president."
Ellner's campaign office said it may file a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission against WNYW for rejecting the ad, on the grounds that stations must carry candidate ads after they agree to sell the time and may not censor them for content.
WNYW is owned by the Fox Network, which has previously come under liberal fire for the commercials it accepts or rejects.