There is a country in which the ruling party has made a concerted effort to keep a factually accurate advertisement by the largest opposition party off TV by appealing to the owners of TV stations to prevent the ad from airing.
No, not Zimbabwe. The USA.
Gov. Howard Dean and Joe Sandler, the DNC's General Counsel, held a telephone press conference a few minutes ago. (As it was a last-minute deal, even I got to listen in.) They started by categorically denying the RNC's charge that the DNC's ad was in any way coordinated with either the Clinton or Obama campaigns. Dean said “I know of no conversations of any kind that have taken place with the campaigns” about the ad. (Had the ad been coordinated, it would count as an in-kind contribution which would have legal consequences; if it's fully arms-length, it's a legal independent expenditure.)
Sandler said that so far none of the networks running it (MS-NBC and CNN) have said they will pull the ad. So far, the ad is slated for cable only. From which I deduce this isn't a hugely expensive ad buy. Ordinarily you would not expect the RNC to add oxygen to such a small flame; tying McCain to his own remarks about Iraq must really hurt.
The RNC also claimed in its publicity blitz that the ad is false, and thus could expose stations that run it to some sort of liability. That's a weak argument, since the ad uses McCain's own words, and DNC Chairman Dean made hay with it. “I understand the RNC thinks it is illegal to criticize Sen. McCain,” Dean said, and he basically invited them to sue.
Here's one bet that they won't: this is just scare tactics. And if they do sue, they'll lose. (Outside Zimbabwe.)