UPDATE: The Clinton campaign has now issued a statement saying that they will “delay” all Florida ads – including the controversial Weather Channel ads – until after Hurricane Matthew has passed.
After making small adjustment to Weather Channel buy this wk, Clinton camp now asking FL stations to hold ads "until after the storm passes" pic.twitter.com/E5vtvpxOr4
— Monica Alba (@albamonica) October 6, 2016
After the storm passes out of Florida, its unlikely the Clinton campaign will need to keep their ad commitment to the Weather Channel, of course.
Rahm Emanuel once said “never let a good crisis go to waste,” and Hillary Clinton is taking his advice to heart. She’s bought $63,000 worth of ads on the Weather Channel so that she can appeal to Florida voters while they panic over Hurricane Matthew.
The hurricane, which is set to make landfall on Florida Thursday night into Friday morning, could be one of the most damaging storms in American history. Outage forecasts show that nearly 7 million people could be without power by Friday night, with the storm continuing up the East coast through Georgia and South Carolina.
The direst predictions have Matthew meeting up with tropical storm Nicole.
But while Clinton has yet to express sympathy with potential victims of the storm, she’s already preying on Florida residents desperate to get the latest information on the hurricane bearing down on their homes—making sure that they get her election pitch in between updates about wind speeds and category strength.
The Clinton campaign defended their tacky, last-minute decision to take advantage of the Weather Channel’s spike in viewership as part of their “regular updates to maximize efficiency.” They said it’s similar to their decision to take out ads during postseason MLB games—without acknowledging that their shift was clearly related to a natural disaster.
“Over the past few days, our campaign made millions of dollars of adjustments and refinements to our TV buys on dozens of different cable stations in markets all across the battleground states,” campaign spokesman Jesse Ferguson told the media. “The Weather Channel represented less than one percent of that spending.”
Clinton had appearances scheduled in Florida for later this week but those are now cancelled.