WHY WON’T FOX NEWS AIR A VETERANS’ GROUP’S AD?…. As ads on energy/climate go, the new one from VoteVets, a progressive organization founded by veterans of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, is a little harder hitting than most.

The spot features commentary from retired Brigadier Gen. Steven Anderson, who was the chief of logistics for U.S. forces in Iraq under Gen. Petraeus, and who is now urging the Senate to pass a clean energy plan.

In the ad, Anderson tells viewers, “[B]reaking our addiction [to foreign oil] must not only be a military priority, but America’s mission, and why the Senate needs to pass a clean energy climate plan. It’ll put Americans to work developing new energy technologies that’ll save lives overseas, make us less dependent and more secure…. It’s time for our senators to choose: Pass a clean energy climate plan that makes us more secure, or let America keep paying the price.”

It’s a powerful argument from a compelling figure, and VoteVets is reportedly spending a half-million dollars to run the minute-long ad on national cable networks.

But not Fox News. CNN and MSNBC began airing the commercial today, but the Republican network has rejected the ad without explanation.

If this sounds familiar, it’s because it’s happened before. In May, VoteVets put together a similar ad, which Fox News deemed “too confusing” for its audience.

It also seems to fit into a pattern. A few years ago, the Center for Constitutional Rights tried to buy an ad criticizing torture, but Fox News refused to air it. Bill O’Reilly soon after insisted the ad was “anti-American.”

In 2005, Fox News also refused to accept an ad criticizing then-Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito. And in 2006, Fox News was one of several networks to reject an ad from the United Church of Christ that told viewers, “No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you’re welcome here.”

The rejected ads have something in common — a progressive message that Fox News would prefer its viewers not be exposed to.

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Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.