Mr. Thompson, a Republican who represented Tennessee for two terms before returning to acting as part of the cast of NBC's "Law & Order," will appear in a 30-second spot from Citizens United that aired last night in Washington, D.C., and on Washington cable.
Produced by National Media's Alex Castellanos, Mr. Thompson asks in the spot, "What should we do with the inevitable prospect of nuclear weapons in the hands of a murderous and aggressive enemy? ... And when people ask `What has Saddam done to us?' I ask, `What had the 9/11 hijackers done to us ... before 9/11?"'
Citizens United President David N. Bossie said the spot resulted from a dinner conversation Feb. 21 he had with Mr. Castellanos and Mr. Thompson about the spate of anti-war messages coming from a coalition called Win Without War, which feature actors Martin Sheen, Susan Sarandon and advocate U.N. inspections be allowed to run their full course before the U.S. goes to war.
While Citizens United has so far bought only a few days of ads-all to air in Washington- the hope is to expand the buy to six markets and to match the anti-war group's estimated $400,000 in spending.
Anti-war groups have complained that their spots were sometimes rejected or pulled by cable companies. Mr. Bossie said his spot was rejected by NBC affiliate in Washington, WRC-TV, but was accepted by the local Fox affiliate. A WRC-TV spokeswoman said the issue was "best handled in a balanced manner" in news programming. Ads will also run on Comcast's D.C.-area cable, which accepted the Susan Sarandon spot but rejected another anti-war spot. Win Without War did not return calls.