WOI Boss Defends Decision Not to Air Colbert Ad: ‘It Was a Close Call’

By Andrew Gauthier Comment

WOI has been a favorite target of Stephen Colbert this past week, ever since the Des Moines ABC-affiliate decided not to air his satirical Super PAC ad in the days leading up to last weekend’s Iowa straw poll.

Colbert even called out station boss Ray Cole on Monday, offering a sort of apology for his criticism the previous week before joking about their chance meeting at the 2008 Emmy Awards (video inside). While Colbert has continued to poke fun of WOI, Cole is defending his station’s decision.

“This was a close call for us,” Cole told the Des Moines Register on Tuesday. “Our instincts are to grant access to our airwaves to qualified parties. We just felt this was too confusing. The straw poll isn’t a real election, but… it has a real impact.”

Colbert’s ad urged residents to cast a write-in vote for Rick Parry, with an “A,” instead of the actual Texas governor, as many were presumably planning to do.

Here’s Colbert’s half-apology, featuring the story behind his Emmy night encounter with Cole…

And here’s Colbert’s Super PAC ad…

[h/t Poynter]