Beers files protest over TV spot

State Sen. Bob Beers, R-Las Vegas, has filed and cease-and-desist order over a television advertising spot that he claims uses a subliminal image of a gun pointed at the candidate’s head.

Beers, who is locked in a heated race with Democrat Allison Copening, called the ad deceitful.” Part of the ad attacks Beers for his support of a bill that would have allowed teachers to carry guns in public classrooms. During the ad, the image of a hand holding a gun flashes across the screen for a split-second.

The image, while brief, is clearly visible. Subliminal images, by definition, are not able to be viewed consciously.

The Federal Communications Commission states that subliminal programming “is inconsistent with a station’s obligation to serve the public interest because it is designed to be deceptive.”

Beers said he hadn’t seen the ad but heard about it Friday night after receiving an e-mail from a concerned citizen.

The ad claims to have been paid for by the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee. The committee’s answering machine was full and a message left with its executive director was not returned Saturday.

The cease-and-desist order was sent to KVBC-TV, Channel 3; KVVU-TV, Channel 5; KLAS-TV, Chanel 8; and KTNV-TV, Channel 13.

KVBC General Manager Lisa Howfield said she hadn’t seen the order but said the station wouldn’t be required by law to remove the ads.

She said she’s received calls by other attorneys representing political candidates unhappy about campaign ads. “It will continue to air, even if he’s not happy,” Howfield said. “There’s nothing we can do about it.”

Beers on Thursday filed a lawsuit against Copening and the Nevada Democratic Party alleging libel for a flier and television campaign spot that states that Beers is under “Ethics Commission Review.”

The ad was not authorized by Copening or any other candidate, and she denied any involvement with it. The executive director of the Nevada Democratic Party stood behind the accuracy of the statement.

Beers said he is not under review or investigation by the Nevada Ethics Commission.

Contact reporter Lawrence Mower at or 702-383-0440.


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